Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

A media release from the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa reports  Monday, August 31, 2015, the  Tribal Council placed two Tribal judges on paid leave pending a personnel review. An interim Tribal judge has been appointed to handle the current court cases.

Tribal judges are employees of the Lac du Flambeau of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and the Tribe does not comment on personnel issues.

During the fall, the  U.S. Department of Justice informed federal attorneys not to stop the growing or selling of marijuana on Native American sovereign lands if the tribes choose to do so. This follows the legalization of medical marijuana or other forms of relaxed marijuana laws in some states. In those states with legalization, growing marijuana on tribal lands has been called in to question.

Wisconsin continues to enforce marijuana laws, but some have raised the question, what if the laws changed here?

Voters go to the polls today in Lac du Flambeau to narrow down the list of candidates  on the primary ballot for the fall election.

Three persons are challenging incumbent President Tom Maulson. Beverly LaBarge, Henry "Butch" St. Germain, Sr., and Joseph Wildcat, Sr. are on the ballot.

For tribal Vice-President, three candidates include Mike Allen, Sr., Melissa Christiansen, and Ruben(Wayman) Santiesteban.

31 candidates are running for 12 positions on the tribal council.

Polls are open from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the William Wildcat community center.

Lac du Flambeau  referendum voters Friday rejected the tribal council's proposed budget.

251 votes were cast. 71 favored the budget, 179 were opposed.

The tribal constitution says until the budget passes by referendum, the budget from the previous year stays in place, with a cap of 15 percent per line item.

28 persons have been told by Lac du Flambeau government and tribal police that they have 48 hours to leave the reservation.

None of the 28 persons who were notified are tribal members.

Tribal spokesperson Brandon Thoms says this is part of an on-going crackdown on illegal activity on the reservation...

" a result of some on-going investigations, the tribal council acted through a resolution passed that excludes 28 individuals from either physically residing or coming onto the Lac du Flambeau reservation...."

A growing backlog of cases in the Vilas County District Attorney's office has led the Lac du Flambeau tribe to offer $25,000 to help fund a part-time Administrative Secretary position.

The tribe presented the money this week to Vilas county officials. The money is matched by Vilas county contribution over three years.

Many of the cases in waiting are from Lac du Flambeau.

"...What I’ve been able to accomplish with the tribe really is a history thing for Vilas County…"

That's Vilas County District Attorney Al Moustakis, addressing Tuesday’s meeting of the Vilas county board of Supervisors about an agreement reached with the Lac du Flambeau tribe to pay for a full time secretary in the DA’s office…


" ...For the tribe to stand up and say we’re going to take ownership of what is happening in our county and try to reduce what’s happening is a really big thing."

LDF Tribal Communications

In 1745, the Ojibwe defeated the Lakota Sioux in a battle at a place called Strawberry Island, now on  the Lac du Flambeau Chippewa reservation in Vilas county. It ended the Sioux dominance in this region. The island had been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, but to the Chippewa, it was a place of significant cultural and spiritual meaning that they did not own, until Monday.

A long time standoff between the owner of Strawberry Island in Lac du Flambeau and the tribe is a step closer to being resolved.

This week the tribe's Land Management Office told the tribal council they had come to an agreement to acquire Strawberry Island for $250,000. The tribal council passed a resolution approving the sale.

The Lac du Flambeau tribe of Ojibwe is urging Governor Scott Walker not to sign a bill making it harder to change race-based school mascots.  The Republican-backed legislation has passed the Assembly and the Senate.  The new rules would require a petition of signatures and proof of discrimination before a school mascot can be changed.  

Current law has it the other way around – a school must prove its mascot isn’t discriminatory. 

Lac du Flambeau spokesman Brandon Thoms says the proposed rule changes encourage destructive stereotypes of Native people.

Lac Du Flambeau Tribal Communications

Lac du Flambeau tribal voters yesterday elected four of eight candidates to the tribal council and elected a secretary and treasurer.

The top four candidates for the council were Henry "Butch" St. Germaine with 363 votes, Alice Soulier with 330 votes, Betty Jo Graveen with 323, and Eric Chapman, Sr. with 292.

Jamie Armstrong defeated Vicki Doud for Secretary and Mary Peterson defeated Barry LeSieur(lah-soor) for Treasurer. There were a total of 307 write-in votes in all races that did not affect the outcomes.

It’s election day in Lac du Flambeau.  Six tribal seats will be decided: including the secretary and treasurer, plus four councilmen.  Tribal Spokesman Brandon Thoms says there are twelve total seats on the tribal council. 

“A council person has a two year term, and those terms are staggered.  So generally every year six of those seats go up for election.”

The Lac du Flambeau tribe says two federal grants will help combat crime in its community. The tribe has been awarded money for community policing totaling more than three quarters of a million dollars. The so-called COPS grants come through a federal program for tribal assistance. The larger grant will fund police equipment like hardware and uniforms. The other will pay for the hiring of at least one new person.

Tribal spokesperson Brandon Thoms says the money will go a long way.

Superior National Forest

Wild rice production looks below average in the Lac du Flambeau reservation area.  

Scott Smith and the other two wild rice chiefs for the Lac du Flambeau reservation check lakes daily to monitor the rice as it ripens.  Smith says the peak of the harvest has probably already passed. 

“Usually 5 to 10 percent ripens per day.  So there are a few lakes left that still have rice – where it’s more dense, they still have rice to harvest.”

Lac du Flambeau Chamber of Commerce

The Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa held a primary election yesterday for contested positions for Secretary, Treasurer and tribal council. The winners include:

For Secretary...Jamie Armstrong and Victoria A. Doud.

For Treasurer...Barry LeSieur and Mary Peterson.

Candidates who will be on the October ballot for tribal council include....Terry "Fred" Allen, Eric Chapman, Sr.,Betty Jo Graveen,Alice K. Soulier,Henry "Butch" St. Germaine, Sr.,Joseph G. Wildcat, Sr.,Vivian "Luci" Wolfe, and Racquel Zortman-Bell.