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The mission of the Transportation Department is to strategically bring together various aspects of construction management, transportation, community planning and land use to promote a prosperous quality of life for our communities, while being mindful of our membership and tribe’s unique Anishinaabe values and traditions. Transportation primary areas include Large Scale Construction Management, Transit, Community Planning, Maintenance, Safety and Grant administration.


The department oversees Capital and Project Construction Management, including coordination and management of project planning, budgeting, and procurement of contractual services (general contractors, design teams). Project administration also includes project scheduling, phasing, contract administration, progress oversight, budgeting and financial administration. Finally, departmental staff is designated as the awarding official’s technical representative for all large-scale construction projects.


Transportation Planning brings together tribal departments, local, state and federal governments through partnerships to accommodate various multi-modal facilities by evaluation and implementation of facilities and community plans. During the last seven years the Transportation Department has developed and directed numerous community input sessions, membership surveys and meetings with tribal staff, membership and local officials to compline data and statistics on needs, issues, safety, transit and project prioritization. Transportation will continue to gather community and membership input to ensure transparency by compiling or updating planning documents on an annual basis. Focus areas include: cultural tourism, economic development, harbors, docks and placemaking.

Regional Tribal Transit

The Department has conducted extensive research on mobility options currently available within the Tribal service area and developed a Public Tribal Transit Implementation Plan. Transportation is currently implementing Regional Transit Programming by collaborating with local providers to expand services. Further, the department received federal grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) to implement regional programming and anticipates long term sustainability through various funding sources.

Maintenance Operations

Asset Management includes monitoring infrastructure conditions to sustain our infrastructure investments by maintaining, repairing facilities. This ensures our investments are protected and provides a continuing level of service. Focus areas include roads, bridges, trails, sidewalks, winter, summer and general maintenance. Projects are prioritized using the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council Asset Management Guide, which provides standards and processes to rate the current condition of roads and road systems for prioritization.


A professional consulting team was recruited to assist with developing several safety plans, including a Regional Tribal Safety Plan (a far-reaching plan funded by a grant received from the Federal Highway Administration and AAA Foundation). This plan provided a foundation to collaborate, identify key areas of concern and create a framework to accomplish identified goals and objectives with emphasis on all 4Es (Engineering, Education, Enforcement, EMS). Council members, staff, elders, youth council and community members were needed and involved in the process of developing this and various safety plans. These plans were development in coordination with MDOT State SHSP, and identified safety issues and focus on what we can do to prevent loss of life and injury.

Contact Information

Transportation Department
531 Ashmun Street
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Wendy Hoffman
Transportation Planner
906‑635‑6050, ext. 26602

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY