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UPPER PENINSULA—Two U.P. tribes will have the opportunity to enhance their housing options for tribal members after being awarded $6.8 million in federal grant funds on Dec. 10.

Bay Mills Indian Community received a $1.8 million boost from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Program, which will be utilized to construct a senior housing development on the reservation near Brimley.

BMIC plans include construction of eight homes in Bay Mills, approximately 900-square feet each. The two-bedroom, two-bath homes will be located near community resources on the reservation, such as the new health center and Bay Mills Police Dept. 

“The homes will be located in close proximity to supportive services,” said Councilperson Rachel Burtt, who authored the grant. “There will also be a central gathering place for the residents. The housing plan is designed to keep our elders in their homes as they get older, but with access to the services they need.” 

Work with a project manager will begin in the first quarter of 2020, with an anticipated project completion date at the end of 2021. 

The eight new homes will be income-based rental units for those age 55 and up. Bay Mills Housing Authority will maintain the homes and the grounds.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians received $5 million for a four-year project to construct 40 units on its housing development, Odenaang. Ojibwe for “a place of many hearts,” Odenaang is a 300-acre development just south of the city limits that was purchased in 1996.

According to Sault Tribe Housing Authority Operations Manager Veronica Beaumont, the 40 units will be a combination of two-bedroom and three-bedroom modular and stick built single-family homes, along with a multi-family four-unit “quad,” and will be going up throughout 2020-2023 project term. Of those, eight units are planned for elders, three units will be completely handicap accessible, and 26 units will be low-income units, two of which will be used for transition recovery housing.

All the homes will be furnished with Energy Star appliances, LED lighting and high efficiency water conservation plumbing fixtures, said Beaumont. Sault Tribe Housing Force Account crew, comprised of all Sault Tribe members, will construct the stick built homes.

The Housing Authority leveraged just under $1.7 million to obtain the grant. Total project cost is $6,666,667 for the projected 40 homes. The leveraged funds are Indian Housing Block grant monies and Housing Authority program income.

“The treaties with Indian tribes provide for “health, education and social welfare” into perpetuity. The Sault Tribe and Bay Mills Indian Community, along with three other tribes, ceded 14 million acres of land in 1836 that allowed Michigan to become a state in 1837,” Sault Tribe Chairperson Aaron Payment said. “The recently awarded HUD grants to provide for safe and affordable housing is the federal government fulfilling their treaty and trust responsibility. I am grateful to our housing team for their successful efforts to secure these funds competitively.”

HUD awarded nearly $200 million to 52 tribes and tribal housing programs across the country for new construction under the Indian Housing Block Program. More than 200 tribes applied for HUD funding.

Sault Tribe Language and Culture Department winter survival camp for ages 10-15 takes place Friday-Sunday, Jan. 24‑26, at the Mary Murray Cultural Camp, 266 Homestead Rd., Sugar Island, Mich.

Friday, Jan 24 - Pick up at 5:30 p.m. at Niigaanagiizhik Ceremonial Building, 11 Ice Circle Dr., Sault Ste. Marie.
Sunday, Jan 26 - Drop off at 4 p.m. at Niigaanagiizhik Ceremonial Building

Students learn how to survive in cold weather by being prepared for an emergency. Experience the process of building a rough shelter in the woods, how to make an outdoor fire and general survival in the wilderness.

Campers need to bring outdoor winter clothing (heavy coat, hats, gloves, snow pants, boots, etc.), bedding, extra changes of clothes and anything needed for a weekend away. We will be outside most of the day.

Pick up permission slips at 523 Ashmun St. Sault Ste. Marie, MI. To have permission slips sent or for more information, contact Joshua Biron or Kaitlin Lenhard by calling 906‑635‑6050 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Winter Survival Camp Flyer

Sault Tribe Traditional Medicine Program
January 2020 clinic schedule

Joe Syrette
Jan. 2, 3, 9, 10, 17, 22, 23, 29 and 31—Sault Ste. Marie Health Center
Lori Gambardella 906‑632‑0236, Laura Collins-Downwind 906‑632‑5268
Jan. 8—Newberry Health Center, 906‑293‑8181
Jan. 16—St. Ignace Health Center, 906‑643‑8689
Jan. 24—Hessel Health Center, 906‑484‑2727
Jan. 30—Munising Tribal Health Center, 906‑387‑4721

Jan. 18—Teachings on Historical Trauma, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sands Township Hall, Gwinn, Mich. Darcy Morrow 906‑298‑1888 or Denise Chase 906‑203‑2471.

Gerard Sagassige
Jan. 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 21 and 27—Sault Ste. Marie Health Center
Lori Gambardella 906‑632‑0236, Laura Collins-Downwind 906‑632‑5268
Jan. 7—Manistique Health Center, 906‑341‑8469
Jan. 14—Munising Tribal Health Center, 906‑387‑4721
Jan. 22—St. Ignace Health Center, 906‑643‑8689

Jan. 26—Teachings: Historical trauma, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Manistique Community Center
Darcy Morrow 906‑298‑1888 or Denise Chase 906‑203‑2471

Christmas break skate at the Big Bear Arena, 2 Ice Circle in Sault Ste. Marie
Dec. 21: 2:30-4:20 p.m.
Dec. 22:  2:30-4:20 p.m.
Dec. 23: 12:30-2:20 p.m.
Dec. 26: 12:30-2:20 p.m.
Dec. 27: 12:30-2:20 p.m.
Dec. 28:  2:30-4:20 p.m.
Dec. 29:  2:30-4:20 p.m.
Dec. 30: 12:30-2:20 p.m.
Dec. 31: 12:30-2:20 p.m.

$4 Adults
$3 Students/seniors
Ages 5 and under FREE
Sault Tribe members FREE w/proof of membership
$2 Skate rentals
$1 Skate aids

For more information, call 906-635-RINK, visit www.bigbeararena.com.

Christmas Break Skate Flyer

Skate with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 21, 12 p.m.-1:20 p.m. at the Big Bear Area, 2 Ice Circle in Sault Ste. Marie. Free rental skates. Limited amount of skates available. $5 per person. Proceeds go toward the BMCC AIHEC Club to attend the annual AIHEC 2020 Student Conference.

© 2019 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY