Mille Lacs Band Of Ojibwe Names Katie Draper As DNR Commissioner
The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe announced today that Katie Draper will serve as the next Commissioner of the Band’s Department of Natural Resources. She was sworn into office yesterday at the Chiminising Community Center in Isle, Minnesota.
Draper has been employed with Mille Lacs Band since 2010, and previously served as the Commissioner of Community Development for the Band. She also spent the last three years as the Director of Government Affairs, overseeing the Band’s lobbying, public relations and contributes to the tribe’s government-to-government consultation.
“As Commissioner, my primary role is to manage natural resources for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, but I am also deeply committed to creating a greater cross-cultural understanding in the region,” said Draper. “The DNR will operate with a blend of cultural wisdom and scientific knowledge – doing what we know is right from our teachings and listening to what nature is telling us through scientific data and research of our tribal biologists and other experts. I am looking forward to working with the well-oiled team of dedicated DNR staff, protecting our treaty rights, environment and enrollment, developing new initiatives related to agriculture, food sovereignty, forestry, land management and fisheries,” said Draper.
Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin nominated Draper, who was unanimously confirmed by the Band Assembly.
“Katie is a reliable, strong administrator,” said Benjamin. “Her in-depth knowledge of natural resources will serve the Band well. She will do a great job providing the Band stewardship so that resources ranging from the Ogaa to Manoomin are protected for generations to come.”