WASHINGTON, D.C. [04/06/22]—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) announced that they have secured $4,199,000 for Minnesota Tribal Nations. These funds will support the communities of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
“This federal funding will have a real impact for Minnesota’s Tribal Nations. From supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs to strengthening public safety infrastructure and increasing energy efficiency, these projects will address key issues impacting our Native communities on a daily basis. I am proud to have worked with Tribal leaders from across the state to secure the resources for these projects, and I look forward to seeing all the good they will do,” said Senator Klobuchar.
“Minnesota’s Tribal Nations have so much cultural and economic significance across our state. This funding will have a substantial impact in supporting these communities,” said Senator Smith. “Each of these projects will create tangible changes in Native peoples’ lives – whether it’s creating safer communities by investing in Tribal law enforcement, supporting new Native businesses, or ensuring a community center is equipped with the utilities necessary to continue bringing people together.”
Fond du Lac Law Enforcement and Emergency Management Building
They will receive $2,742,000 to construct a new law enforcement and emergency management building. This funding will help expand office space, storage and garage space and will add conference space to conduct regional meetings for their cross jurisdictional work.
“The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is incredibly pleased to learn our congressionally directed project for a Law Enforcement and Emergency Management building in the amount of $2,740,000 is making its way to the President to be signed into law. The protection and safety of our Band and surrounding communities is paramount to us and we are thankful this initiative is moving forward,” said Kevin Dupuis, Fond du Lac Chairman.
Mille Lacs Tribal Economy Business Incubator
They will receive $1.3 million to create a business incubator to help create and grow young businesses by providing them with necessary support and technical services.
“Small businesses are driving the rebirth of our economy after the pandemic and are responsible for creating two-thirds of all new jobs in the United States. With a focus on supporting entrepreneurs and showcasing their gifts, this business incubator project is a game-changer with the potential to spur the entire regional economy,” said Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs of Band of Ojibwe. “On behalf of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe I would like to thank Senator Klobuchar and Senator Smith for supporting this critical project that will benefit east-central Minnesota.”
Grand Portage Band Community Center
They will receive $157,000 to upgrade the 28-year-old boiler/propane heating system at the Grand Portage Community Center. This will allow their efficiency rating to go from 70 percent efficient to over 97 percent, saving $48,000 annually in utility costs.
Senator Smith is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Both senators have been active in securing this funding for Native American communities across the state, which was included as part of the federal spending bill that was just passed into law.