Minutes of a special meeting of the Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council held December 15, 2010 at the Lake Vermilion Sector of the Bois Forte Reservation, Minnesota.
Meeting called to order at 9:20 a.m.
Members Present: Kevin W. Leecy; David C. Morrison, Sr.; Cathy Chavers;
Brandon Benner; Ray Toutloff
Members Absent: None
Others Present: Barb Brodeen; Vicki Villebrun; Marilyn Geshick; Carol Burr; Randy Long; Marlene Farmer; Clint Miller; Honore Lehtinen; Justin Boness; David Farmer; Jessica Farmer; Andy Datko; Gary Gotchnik; Jason Sherman; Corey Strong; Marcus Knife Chief; Brad Anderson; Jeneal Goggleye; Gordon Adams, Jr.; Billie Mason; Edith Villebrun; Mary Strong; Kim Greiner; Norm Adams; Marcella Connor; Marty Connor; Jerome Whiteman; Nikki Pieratos; Jim Johnson
Moved by Cathy Chavers; seconded by Brandon Benner; to approve the agenda. Carried 4-0-0.
Moved by Ray Toutloff; seconded by David Morrison, Sr.; to approve the minutes of a special meeting held December 1, 2010 at Nett Lake, Minnesota. Carried 4-0-0.
Elders Committee: Justin Boness said the elders met with staff from the ICWA department. The elders didn’t like what they said. They didn’t understand what they were talking about.
Justin Boness said the elders don’t like the Indian culture tapes that were bought. They said it’s the wrong way to teach our kids. They need to learn our language, not someone else’s. Justin said Harvey Thompson is the culture teacher and he said it’s wrong too, the different dialects. Justin said he doesn’t know how many tapes were bought but they should send them back. Ray Toutloff asked who bought the tapes. Justin said the culture class in Nett Lake. Billie Mason said those were CD’s that were developed by the Language Revitalization Group. There is a mixture of Sioux and Ojibwe on it. They were a part of a grant and they distributed them to the different reservations. They contacted Billie to see if Bois Forte wanted some and Billie did order about thirty and they were free. Billie, Barb, and Pete attended the training and Billie did a report on the training which was distributed to the council. Billie said the CD’s came in but they
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aren’t being implemented in the school. Billie said she does have a meeting on Monday with Barb to give a demonstration on the CD’s and Billie said she would have asked for direction on how to proceed and she feels Barb would have advised her to provide the elders with a demonstration.
Chairman Leecy said the money came from a culture/natural resources tax. The tribes received that money through the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council. All the tribes in Minnesota joined forces to provide Anishinabe and Dakota language. Bois Forte’s representative to sit on the Language Revitilization Committee is Donald Chosa. Donald will be asked to go to an elders meeting to explain this more and to answer any questions. Chairman Leecy said there were no bad intentions, that it was an effort, statewide, to preserve the language.
Ray Toutloff said it should also be presented to the Nett Lake School Board because any curriculum being used should be presented to that board.
Cathy Chavers said this was first presented to the MCT Education Subcommittee. Erma Viznor, Chairwoman of White Earth, wanted the tribes to combine on it instead of everyone competing for the grant which was a small amount of money. The timeline was 30 days or everyone would lose out on that funding. There were first speakers mentioned and Karen Drift was one of them.
Justin Boness said he doesn’t think anyone should use Spirit Island on any logo.
Billie Mason is to attend the elders meeting with Donald Chosa.
Mary Strong said on the last elders’ trip they froze. She would like the trip to be held in a warmer climate or a warmer time of the year. Chairman Leecy said he is not aware of who selected the date for the last trip, but it is the elders’ decision on the dates.
New tribal government employees: Jeneal Goggleye introduces Jessica Farmer who is the new Administrative Assistant for the International Falls Chemical Dependency program.
Norm Adams brings to the attention of the tribal council the current response time of the BIA officers to Fortune Bay. If there is no officer at Fortune Bay, the response time could be anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. The current protocol is when there is an emergency such as a domestic or fight, 911 is called. From there BIA is called. At times BIA has to give permission for the county to come to Fortune Bay. When customers have too much to drink, or if there is a fight, it puts the security staff at risk. The security staff do not have the training to handle those types of situations. Fortune Bay does not detain customers. Security staff can not physically grab customers, only if they are threatened. In the past year there have been incidents where staff have been hit by customers. Last week there were two Natives fighting in the room about 3:30 in the morning and law enforcement responded, but an hour and a half later. Norm said another concern is the state of the economy. There is a strong potential for a robbery. In the
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past two years Grand Portage has been robbed two times, once at the casino and once at the store. If that could happen to them it could happen at Fortune Bay. Yesterday the Bellagio in Las Vegas was robbed. People are getting desperate for money. Norm would like to request meetings with the police department to discuss protocols, and look at assistance with the county if the BIA won’t be available. The BIA is at Fortune Bay on event nights and their presence on those nights are helpful.
Chairman Leecy said Marcus Knife Chief is present for this. Chairman Leecy received a message from Pete Drift Sr. that he wanted this in open discussion so he could bring these concerns directly to the BIA. Bois Forte is shortstaffed and that’s why Pete wants to forward this discussion on to the BIA.
Marcus Knife Chief said they are four officers shortstaffed. He said there are two different things being talked about in regard to response time. One is initial response time when an officer is called. The second thing is the time it takes to investigate. He said the one incident that was mentioned he did respond within ten minutes and it was his off-duty time. The day before that he was in Nett Lake and when he is in Nett Lake it leaves the Vermilion side open. He said he could have 3 calls a day and going back and forth between Nett Lake and Vermilion. Marcus said Josh Villebrun is on detail at Standing Rock and will be coming back. When Josh gets back then Brent Chosa will leave for detail out there. Marcus will also be going on a five-month detail. It is out of Chief of Police Pete Drift’s control that they not go. Pete has expressed his concern to the District Commander that he doesn’t want his officers to go on detail. Marcus said Bois Forte probably won’t get any more Band members becoming officers because of the selection process. There is an officer coming in next month. When officers come there is a problem with housing. They have to live off reservation. They can’t buy a house on the reservation. The officers that come don’t want to rent for their entire career. Marcus said there is no cross deputation nor mutual aid in place.
Chairman Leecy said he is concerned with the safety of the Band and the guests at Fortune Bay. There is one officer for two places but can’t be in two places at one time. He feels the government has a responsibility, the BIA specifically, has a trust responsibility to provide law enforcement. Chairman Leecy said he is going to ask the council for a resolution for no more transfers or details until the safety is taken care of at Bois Forte. Chairman Leecy will also send it to Senator Al Franken.
Moved by Ray Toutloff; seconded by Cathy Chavers; to adopt resolution #52-2011, to not allow Bois Forte’s officers to be detailed to other reservations without the approval of the Tribal Council. Carried 4-0-0.
Moved by Cathy Chavers; seconded by Ray Toutloff; to table the Admissions & Occupancy Policy and the Collection & Eviction Policy in order to give the council time to review them. Carried 4-0-0.
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Moved by Ray Toutloff; seconded by David Morrison, Sr.; to approve the Supportive Services for Runaway and Homeless Youth Transitional Living Program Interagency Agreement between Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Bois Forte. Carried 4-0-0.
Moved by Cathy Chavers; seconded by Brandon Benner; to approve Honore Lehtinen’s request for a waiver of indirect cost on the Mental Health Crisis Flex Funding in the amount of $412.70. Carried 4-0-0.
Moved by Cathy Chavers; seconded by Brandon Benner; to adopt resolution #51-2011, service line agreement with Lake Country Power to extend single phase power to the new telecommunication tower. Carried 4-0-0.
Moved by Cathy Chavers; seconded by Ray Toutloff; to approve an increase of 7.5% to the overall funding levels for the self-funded dental plan effective January 1, 2011. Single contract will be $29.56 per month and family contract is $23.82 per month. Sealant coverage will be added to the plan and the coverage will be changed from Comprehensive Standard to Comprehensive Enhanced for plan year 2011. Carried 4-0-0.
Moved by Cathy Chavers; seconded by David Morrison, Sr.; to adjourn the meeting at 10:11 a.m. Carried 4-0-0.