Helen Wilkie

(651) 260-2420



June 6, 2012





TOWER, Minn. – On Thursday, June 7 and Friday, June 8, the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa will celebrate the grand opening of its new housing developments in Vermilion and Nett Lake.


“We have revitalized our reservation with economic diversification, job creation, and improved education and health care facilities,” said Tribal Chair Kevin Leecy “Band members whose families had left in pursuit of opportunities elsewhere are eager to return to the area, so we are building the housing to welcome them home.”


New Moon Supportive Housing in Vermilion


The Bois Forte Band will celebrate the opening of New Moon, a 20-unit supportive housing development in Vermilion, on Thursday, June 7. A program at 10 a.m. will include a traditional blessing and ribbon cutting, followed by lunch served by Fortune Bay Resort Casino at noon and tours of New Moon from 1-3 p.m.


The development includes 6 duplexes with 12 units, and an apartment complex with 8 units, a Laundromat, a multipurpose/family room, and a smaller conference room. A walking trail makes it easy for residents to reach the nearby Vermilion Clinic, Vermilion Family Wellness Center, and Fortune Bay.


A unique aspect of New Moon is the presence of an onsite staffer to coordinate a wide range of services for residents including job training, parenting classes, mental health and chemical dependency services, financial planning, and independent living skills.


The Band’s eight new two and three-bedroom Cedar Grove Duplexes in Vermilion will also celebrate their grand opening on June 7.


Pineview Duplexes in Nett Lake


On Friday, June 8, the celebration will shift to Nett Lake, where the Band recently completed six new duplexes in Pineview. The Grand Opening in Nett Lake will also begin at 10 a.m. with a traditional blessing and ribbon cutting, brief speeches, lunch and tours.


Construction of the duplexes was done by MB Custom Development, Inc., a California-based company owned by Bois Forte Band member Mike Bass. Another Band member, Christina Woods, was a subcontractor on the project through her firm, TAC Company.


Four of the 12 units have been designated for Band members who are currently homeless.


“These housing developments were a great job stimulus during a tough economy,” Leecy said. “We were pleased to be able to hire many people from the community, including our own Band members.