To: LDMLFN Band and Community Members
From: LDMLFN Chief and Council
Boozhoo to our membership and families! The winter has been a long one and spring has taken it’s time getting here! As of today, reports are that there are still approximately 36 inches of ice on Lac des Mille Lacs. We have certainly experienced a cool and late spring here. Let's hope the weather warms up soon and we will have a long and beautiful summer. We wanted to take this opportunity to update our membership on some of the initiatives that we reported on in your February Communique.
22A1 FLOOD CLAIM - As stated in our previous communiques and newsletters, we are so very proud of our people for all of their support, faith, and perseverance to see our claim settled. Our people voted 99% in favour of accepting the settlement in a referendum vote. Our community stood firm together and in unity to get this done! It is a rare and significant achievement to receive that high of an approval percentage. We continue to receive accounts on how this settlement has positively impacted our families’ lives. We are blessed that we could play a part in their happiness and well-being. Important and official information on the trust funds for minor children was sent out to the parents and/or guardians from RBC Banking.
FARMING LANDS CLAIM 22A1 & TIMBER CLAIM 22A1/22A2 - Research is still being compiled in preparation for submission. We strongly believe our entire Negotiations Team has the necessary skill, expertise and experience to get these claims settled in short order and with an excellent outcome for our members. We stand on our record to do so.
COMMUNITY RE-ESTABLISHMENT -We would like to reaffirm that all steps taken towards the re-establishment of our Community are being followed via our capital plan. Development of the capital plan for Reserve 22A1 commenced in 2009 and was completed in 2013. The plan was also taken to ceremony. This plan was developed with direct input and involvement from our community members. Your leadership continues to follow the capital plan in the decisions that they make in regards to the First Nation.
MARINE CABLE (HYDRO) - We are excited to announce that we have successfully negotiated funding for our Marine Cable project! This 2.3 million dollar project (Phase one) will see Hydro One install cable this summer, bringing hydro to our reserve lands. This is another monumental step for our First Nation. We want to be able to supply our members with the best possible experience in their new homes, and this will help to ensure that our families are living in a safe and comfortable environment. Well done team! The background and negotiating work has also started on (Phase two) of this project.
SOLAR - As reported in our last communique, we now have a state of the art solar micro grid functioning at high capacity and have basically eliminated the need for diesel fuel at our complex and roundhouse. As a community, we are proud to support the elimination and/or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and want to ensure that we are good stewards of all that the Creator has given us. The added serenity that comes with little to no noise pollution is also very refreshing.
Note: We are also looking into some options for our members, in regards to utilizing solar as an energy source for their homes. Further updates will follow.
GRAVELING OF ROAD - As reported in previous newsletters, we were successful in obtaining a permit for a Category 9 Gravel Pit for our First Nation’s use. This pit is located next to Maze Bay, just off the Lac des Mille Lacs Road. We will be using the material from this gravel pit, to build up our entire (access and on-reserve) roads this summer. Graveling is anticipated to begin in late June. The road will be capped with six inches of Grade A gravel. This will ensure that our road will be safer and more enjoyable to drive on, as well as sustain the foundation of the road. It is hoped that we will be able to put down a calcium coating next summer, which will further stabilize the integrity of the road system.
SHORE LINE PROTECTION - We are also pleased to report to our membership that we will be starting work on the shore line protection this summer. This important construction will occur in front of the Roundhouse/Community Cultural Complex and surrounding area. This portion of the shoreline was identified for protection in the Erosion Study that was completed as part of our Flood Claim negotiations. This area will be designated as a construction zone. We thank our members for their cooperation and support in this project.
Note: As we anticipate our members will have gone through the housing lottery process sometime in June, the entire phase one housing development area will also be designated as a construction zone.
HOUSING POLICY - The Housing Policy was finalized and has been up on our web- site since March 8th 2018. We believe that our housing policies will enable our First Nation to move forward in a good and positive manner. Our members are excited with the direction that our First Nation is moving in. A huge thank you goes out to all of our members for their invaluable input into this. This policy sets forth a solid foundation for all housing construction on our lands and will ensure that our members and families will be able to live in a safe and strong community.
HOUSING UPDATE - The Housing Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the First Nation Housing Fair on Saturday March 24th. It was a very successful event! We understand from our members that it was very informative and helpful and many were able to network and make connections with the various trades people and professionals who were present. At this time, we would like to remind individuals, who have not submitted their letters of intent or applications and who are still interested, to get their paperwork in. The May 4th 2018 deadline is fast approaching. For those who have already submitted their applications, we look forward to working with you as we move forward with rebuilding our community. This is an exciting time for the First Nation and our families! Great things are happening! Sincerely, Your Housing Committee Members: Jackie Peters, Councillor Carmel Zoccole, Councillor Tracy Morrison, Mark Sawdo, Rikka Berkan, Tom Lebel.
NEW HIRES –The First Nation has also been successful in negotiating and obtaining funding from a number of Ministries this year. (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Children & Youth Services) As our membership is aware, we receive very little funding as we do not have members on reserve. Funding is based on this formula. The more people a First Nation has on reserve, the more funding they receive.
Through the dedicated and persistent round table discussions and talks that we have had, we have finally broken through those limitations and restrictions. We have broken down those barriers and skillfully negotiated funding from sources that in previous years, told us “no, we didn't qualify.” This is largely due to the respectful relationships that we have built. Our staff will be doubling in size this spring! See the attached announcement letters and the enhanced services we will be offering to our membership! We anticipate that we will continue to grow throughout this year as we continue to be successful with our proposals and bring on additional staff who can offer more support and services to our people. Please visit the “Employment” section of our web-site for all employment positions with the First Nation.
ELDERS ASSISTANCE - We are pleased to report to our members that this program has had a positive start. Again, we continue to receive accounts on how this quarterly assistance is making our Elders lives a little bit easier as they are able to meet payments for their utilities, rent, and put healthy food on the table. Our goal is and always has been to assist our members to the very best of our ability. We believe that this subsidy supports that vision. Contact: Councillor Irma Churchill.
2018 POW-WOW - Reminder: The dates for this year’s Annual Pow-Wow are set for June 15-17, 2018. Those interested in volunteering on the Pow-Wow Committee or to assist during this time, are asked to contact Mike Ignace. Hope to see you all there this year!
2018 ELDERS GATHERING - Our Elders Gatherings are places of support and respect for each and every one of our Elders on an individual and shared basis. These gatherings are a time filled with re-connecting and re-establishing of relationships with our families. It has been an integral part of our community growth, healing and coming together.
As stated in our last communique, we were experiencing difficulties in securing sufficient accommodations for this event. The number of our Elders is growing! We did not want to have to put our Elders in two different hotels. We are pleased to announce that, in conjunction with the Elders Council, they have decided on the dates of July 23, 24, 25th for this years gathering. Information and registration forms will be sent out in the month of May. We look forward to seeing our relatives smiling faces!
MEMBERSHIP CODE –We will be starting work on a Membership Code for our First Nation later this year. With the changing rules of INAC, we realize that it is in our families’ best interests to have our own Membership Code. This will enable our descendants to continue to be members of our First Nation, whether they have “Indian Status” or not. As many are aware, we have a large number of members who are registered under Bill C-31 and Bill C-3 who cannot pass on their status due to INAC’s eligibility requirements and regulations.
The First Nation cannot give status to anyone, but we can ensure that our descendants have defined rights on our reserve. This will be very beneficial in ensuring that our members who own on-reserve homes can pass down that home to their descendants. As this will be a First Nation Code, this work will require much participation from our membership along with a Referendum Process for acceptance and approval by our Membership.
SKILLS INVENTORY - A reminder goes out that the First Nation does have a Skills Inventory. Our First Nation has been compiling this information pertaining to the specific education, certifications and qualifications of band and community members that have sent in their resumes. We request that any band/community member(s) who may have an interest in employment opportunities, to forward their information to our Education & Training Director Mark Berkan.
Note: As mentioned in previous newsletters, the Skills Inventory will also be useful in the re-development of our community infrastructure on 22A1 and/or First Nation building projects. The First Nation asks for all qualified and interested members to send in their resume or curriculum vitae. Also, any skilled trades, services and contractors are invited and encouraged to send in their information.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE - Check out our “Official Website” at www.lacdesmillelacsfirstnation.ca This is the only official site that is administered through the First Nation, and by First Nation staff. This is where you will find up-to-date and accurate information regarding your First Nation, job postings, initiatives, etc.
Any other sites containing or using the Lac des Mille Lacs First Nation name are not run or sanctioned by the First Nation, and may contain false and/or misleading information.
Note: Our members are encouraged to contact the First Nation should they have questions or concerns regarding the First Nation rather than rely on the information posted on these other social media sites. For our out-of-town members, we ask that you click on “Picture Galleries” and see for yourself what is happening in your First Nation. It is said that “a picture speaks a thousand words.”
Moving forward towards a prosperous, healthy community!
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