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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —Sault Tribe printed thousands of checks to members yesterday, to be mailed out today, Chief Financial Officer Bob Schulte said. Including the normal payroll checks also printed Thursday, the total is more than $15 million, mostly to communities in the eastern U.P., Schulte said.

“The local economy is going to like us when they see all this money floating around,” he said.

Tribal officials expect a wave of members seeking to cash their payments at Kewadin Casino or at local banks and credit unions.

Schulte said casino staffers are preparing for a high number of requests to cash the checks, and he said Huntington Bank, Central Savings Bank, PNC Bank and Soo Co‐Op Credit Union have been notified that they might see much higher numbers of requests to cash checks.

It took about six hours Wednesday to print the $1,000 disaster relief checks, Schulte said, and payroll employees were assisted by staff from other departments in putting the checks into envelopes. All the relief checks were taken to the post office yesterday afternoon.

He said 12,340 disaster‐relief checks totaling $12.34 million were printed.

The amounts of the hazard pay checks varied, but those, also printed yesterday, totaled $1.1 million. In addition, regular payroll checks, issued this week, totaled roughly $2 million.

That’s a total of $15.44 million, most of it destined for tribal members in the seven county service area, Schulte said.

Executive Director Christine McPherson applauded the financial assistance for tribal members.

“I would like to thank the Tribal Chairman and the Tribal Board of Directors for the support and authorization of these programs for the benefit of our tribal members. I know it will not solve all issues but will assist in a small way to help our members. These types of large projects involve many tribal team members’ efforts, and it is truly appreciated."

Melissa Morehouse, who works in Enrollment, said the number of disaster‐relief checks was about double the usual number of annual elder dividend payments and the operation was under a tight deadline.

Morehouse said 14,000 applications were sent out to tribal members Aug. 7, and Enrollment staffers added three people during the week to help enter the returned applications. (Applications are still being accepted.)

Then the printing and envelope stuffing began. Laurie Mansfield in Payroll said she monitored the printer, reloading paper and making sure there were no jams or other problems. Morehouse was in the Payroll office operating the check‐stuffing machine. On the third floor of the administration building, employees from Payroll, Enrollment, Accounting and Legal, plus one board member, hand‐stuffed thousands of checks.

“It went smoothly for as big a project as it was,” Morehouse said. “We figured we would have to do that over a two‐day period.”

Flu vaccinations are now available for Veterans enrolled in VA health care at their regularly scheduled VA appointments.

Veterans may also get vaccinated during free drive-up flu shot clinics at the Sault Ste. Marie VA Clinic on Monday and Tuesday, Sept.21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 ET. No appointment is necessary. The VA clinic is located at 509 Osborn Blvd., Suite 306.

Veterans may call 800‑215‑8262, ext. 34758, for updated VA Flu Shot Clinics at the VA Medical Center and its seven community-based outpatient clinics in the Upper Peninsula and northeast Wisconsin.

Veterans enrolled in VA health care who received their flu shot elsewhere are requested to contact their VA primary care clinic and provide that information.

“The best way to protect against flu and its potentially serious complications is with a flu vaccine,” Ann Mattson, RN, Infection Control Nurse at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain, said. 

“Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions,” Mattson added.

For more information on flu vaccinations and prevention, go to https://www.prevention.va.gov/flu/ or https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —A regular meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held at the Sault Kewadin Casino starting at 5 p.m. on Sept. 15. Due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the meeting will not be open to the public.

Resolutions on the agenda are, under Budget Modifications, Child Advocacy Center, DeMawating Dev./Chippewa Storage Cap Ex, Enterprise Recipient, Manistique Med Nursing/3rd Party Revenue, Family Spirit/3rd Party Revenue, SAMHSA STOPR, SAMHSA, Emergency Preparedness, Health – Sault Housekeeping Maintenance, Sanitation BE-17-KO3 and Continuing Funding – Health; Adult Health Study; 2021 Indian Housing Plan; a Lease Modification and Lease Cancelation; Accept Funding BIA for Economic Development; Native Am. Business Development Institute Grant; Approving Flexible Benefits Spending Plan; Hartford Life Insurance Company; and Contract Approval – Meritain Health.
Under new business, the board will consider Hessel Meeting Location, Conservation Request, Cares Act Funds Newborns/Military and Board Concerns.

KINCHELOE—A house fire destroyed a duplex in Sault Tribe’s Kincheloe Housing site Sept. 1. No one was hurt but two families have lost everything as the duplex burned to the ground. The fire started at midday and the cause has not been determined. Sault Tribe Law Enforcement is investigating.

Sault Tribe Housing Authority provided housing for the families and will rebuild the duplex.

GoFundMe sites have been set up for each family at: https://gf.me/u/yvvv83 and https://gf.me/u/yvsmzj.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will hold a regular meeting at 5 p.m. on Sept. 1 at the Sault Kewadin Casino Grand Island Room. Due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the meetings are not open to the public.

Resolutions on the agenda are: Under budget modifications: Sawyer Village, DeMawating, EDC Sub-Recipient Grant, Federal Cares – Interest, BIA Cares Funds, Federal Cares- Govt and Sub Recipient, Tribal Practices – Wellness in Indian Country, Health Soo Pharmacy, Health St. Ignace Pharmacy, Health Manistique Pharmacy and FY 2020-2021 Budget Doc 002; Ethernet Network Data Transport Services Project; BOD Head Start Advisory Committee; NIGA 2020; and Board Pension Plan/Social Security Pay. 

Under new business, the board will consider: Disenrollment, Relinquishments, Land Transfer and Board Concerns.

September 1 Meeting Resolutions

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. on Aug. 25 at the Sault Kewadin Casino Grand Island Room. Due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the meetings are not open to the public. 

On the agenda is the resolution FY 2020 Governmental Cap E.  

Under new business the board will consider board concerns.

August 25 Meeting Resolutions

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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —A resolution to expunge and set aside tribal members’ marijuana offenses and past convictions passed unanimously by the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors at an Aug. 11 special meeting.

The legalized personal use and possession of marijuana has become more accepted across the country, including Sault Tribe and the state of Michigan. The tribe has decriminalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes and recently entered an agreement to sell marijuana for recreational purposes at various trust land locations.

Prior marijuana convictions can create obstacles for those seeking higher education assistance, housing and employment. “To allow convictions to remain on a tribal member’s record for an act that has been legalized is not in anyone’s best interests, neither the tribe nor its members,” said Tribal Chairperson Aaron Payment.

The Tribal Code only allowed members to apply for only one marijuana related offense to be expunged after five years, so the board decided to add expungement of all such offenses to the Tribal Code. The resolution adds expungement to Chapter 71 of the Tribal Code, which provides for setting aside past marijuana convictions. Tribal Code, Chapter 71, section 71.1617 Vacating Offenses, now reads: “All past marijuana convictions authorized by these Sections shall be set aside and expunged from individual records for all convictions prior to Aug. 11, 2020. Future convictions may be set aside pursuant to Tribal Code Chapter 77.”

In the coming weeks, Tribal Court will be going through all previous criminal files and entering orders setting aside each marijuana conviction. A copy of the order setting aside the conviction will be sent to the affected defendants to their last known address in the next two months as the orders are completed. If an individual believes they have a previous marijuana conviction that will be set aside, and have moved or believe the address that the Court has may be out of date, they should contact the Court at 906-635‐4963 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with an updated address.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors meets at 5 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the Sault Kewadin Casino. Due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, meetings are not open to the public.

Resolutions on the agenda are Elder Outreach Worker Program, Tribal Buildings – Nazarene Church, Natural Resources – Nunn’s Creek, Health Center – Sault Dental, Health Center – Sault Medical Nursing Gov’t – Economic Director; FY 2020 Gov’t Cap Ex, Continuing Funding Authority, Amending Vacation Policy and Program for Allocation of CARES Act.

Under new business the board will consider a fishing request and board concerns.

August 18 Meeting Resolutions

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —A special meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held at the Sault Kewadin Casino starting at 10 a.m. on Aug. 11. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting will not be open to the public.

Resolutions on the agenda are: Expungement and Loan to Lume.

Under new business, the board will consider Letter to the City and Board Concerns.

August 11 Meeting Resolutions

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