WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., announced they have secured $4,199,000 for Lake Superior Chippewa’s Fond du Lac Band, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Grand Portage Band of Upper Chippewa Lake.
“This federal funding will have a real impact on the tribal nations of Minnesota,” Klobuchar said in a press release. a daily basis. I’m proud to have worked with tribal leaders across the state to secure the resources needed for these projects, and I look forward to seeing all the good they will do.
“The Minnesota Tribal Nations hold so much cultural and economic significance in our state,” Smith said in the statement. “This funding will have a substantial impact on supporting these communities. Each of these projects will create tangible changes in the lives of Indigenous peoples – whether it’s creating safer communities by investing in law enforcement community, supporting new Indigenous businesses, or ensuring a community center is equipped with the utilities needed to continue bringing people together.
The Thousand Lakes Tribal Economy Business Incubator will receive $1.3 million to establish a business incubator to help create and grow young businesses by providing technical support and services required.
“Small businesses are the engine of our economy’s rebirth after the pandemic and are responsible for creating two-thirds of all new jobs in the United States,” said Melanie Benjamin, executive director of the Mille Lacs of Band of Ojibwe. . “With a focus on supporting entrepreneurs and showcasing their gifts, this business incubator project is a game-changer and has the potential to boost the regional economy as a whole.
“On behalf of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, I want to thank Senator Klobuchar and Senator Smith for supporting this vital project that will benefit east-central Minnesota.”
The Fond du Lac Law Enforcement and Emergency Management Building will receive $2,742,000 to construct a new law enforcement and emergency management building. This funding will help expand office, storage and garage space and add conference space to hold regional meetings for their intergovernmental work.
The Grand Portage Band Community Center will receive $157,000 to upgrade the 28-year-old propane heating system/boiler at the Grand Portage Community Center. This will increase their efficiency rate from 70% efficiency to over 97%, saving them $48,000 per year in utility costs.
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, their offices reported, adding that the funding is part of the federal spending bill that just passed. .