Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe Hosts Inauguration For Elected Officials
The people of the Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe have officially chosen their next leaders. They were inaugurated onto the council today in a ceremony held at the Northern Lights Casino in Walker, and to say the council is looking forward to take on their roles is an understatement.
“You know, it’s just nice to be back. I missed a lot of people from the Cass Lake area and I just really want to make a good network there between District 1 and the main headquarters in Cass Lake,” says Robbie Mechelle Howe, the District 1 representative for the Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe.
Many on the council are returning members. There’s Steve White representing District 2, Howe for District 1 and Archie LaRose as secretary/treasurer.
LaRose says, “It’s an honor and privilege getting re-elected to secretary/treasurer position. I’ve been elected five times as secretary/treasurer and one time as the chairman.”
Howe says, “It was just like a second chance. It’s a recharge. I took some time off. I was at the front office for many, many years. I’ve been basically in administration for the tribe, this will be 25 years.”
For their next term, the elected council members will be looking to help the youth. Currently, there are talks to build a new wellness center on the reservation.
“I made a commitment to my people like most of my commitments I made in the past and previous elections became reality. The short-term commitment is reviving our sports and rec., looking and taking a hard look at our health. You know, a lot of our kids need that physical activity and we gotta bring that back and revive it and make it more stronger for our people,” says LaRose.
Howe adds, “The first thing we have to focus on is our strength and wellness of our communities right now. I think there is definitely some crisis in our area, so I’m trying to work on that.”
With a board comprised of many different voices, another thing council members will be working on is coming together as a team.
LaRose says, “I look forward to working with the full council as a team. We might have our differences or we might have our things – how we look at things – but we have to work together as a people, as leaders and on behalf of the reservation and band members as a whole. We gotta do the best we can to represent them.”
Elected members of the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school board and the Leech Lake Housing authority were also sworn in today.