BMIC bans pipelines from the Straits

BAY MILLS - On Monday, May 10, Bay Mills Indian Community's Executive Council passed a resolution that banishes Enbridge Energy, Inc.'s Line 5 dual pipelines from the BMIC reservation and the lands and waters of their ceded territory - including the Straits of Mackinac.

As part of the Treaty of 1836, BMIC reserved for all time the right to fish, hunt, and gather in the ceded land and waters of the state of Michigan - including the ceded waters of Lake Superior, Huron, and Michigan, which includes the Straits of Mackinac.

Banishment is not a practice taken lightly by tribal government. Banishment is a traditional, historical, and customary form of tribal law that has existed since time immemorial and is only exercised by the tribe when egregious acts and misconduct have harmed tribal citizens, treaty rights, territories, and resources.

BMIC challenges pipeline approval

April 27, 2021

Bay Mills Indian Community has challenged a permit issued to Enbridge Energy by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) that would allow Enbridge to build a massive tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac to house a new segment of its Line 5 pipeline. EGLE, despite recommendations from the MI State Historic Preservation Office and opposition from Tribal Nations, granted the permit before the key cultural and archaeological studies were completed — studies that were required by law as part of EGLE’s evaluation of the tunnel permit application.

Bay Mills Pow Wow changes date to Aug. 13-15
Bay Mills Indian Community commends Newland for his service, applauds DOI nomination

April 22, 2021


BAY MILLS — "We are very proud of Bryan and his service to Indian Country," said Whitney Gravelle, Bay Mills Indian Community Chairperson. "During his time as BMIC chairman, Bryan worked hard to represent and serve the interests of our community and our people. I believe he would be a valuable asset to the Dept. of Interior in this new role."

Newland served as chairman to BMIC for 3.5 years. During his tenure in Bay Mills, his administration secured funding for several infrastructure projects, including a $15 million health care facility that will serve the needs of those residing in the Eastern Upper Peninsula. He left BMIC in March to take a role in the Biden administration, where he has been serving as principal deputy assistant secretary of Indian Affairs.

“A great leader is not just someone who just makes decisions, but someone who believes in the potential of others, nurtures their ability, and helps them reach their own goals. Great leaders nurture other leaders. Bryan nurtured all of Bay Mills, and I have no doubt now in his new role he will nurture all of Indian Country," Gravelle concluded.

Newland was born and raised in Bay Mills and is a graduate of Michigan State University and Michigan State University College of Law.

April issue on the stands!

The print issue of Bay Mills News is now on the stands. It can be found at the following locations: Bay Mart, AOT, Four Seasons Market, EZ Mart - Sault, Woody's One Stop, Bay Mills Resort & Casinos (hotel lobby), and Kewadin Casino (lobby). Distribution has been limited due to the pandemic, we hope to return to our regular outlets in July.

CCHD updates on vaccination program progress

Feb. 24, 2021

SAULT STE. MARIE – Since December, 2020, between the Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) and its partners, over 9,000 Chippewa county residents (or more than 23% of the county population) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While these numbers are positive, there is still a long way to go before the county reaches the goal of having 70% of our county fully vaccinated.

The health department continues to vaccinate individuals in Priority 1B, Groups A and B, which includes: critical infrastructure employees, preK-12 teachers, first responders, and the aged 65 and older population. For individuals in those groups, appointments are available at CCHD. Please call 906-635-3572 to schedule. CCHD

encourages anyone who is currently eligible to get vaccinated.

Administrative Law Judge Orders Narrow Scope in Public Service Commission's Line 5 Tunnel Replacement Permit Decision

Feb. 23, 2021

LANSING — Today, an Administrative Law Judge in Michigan issued a decision determining what evidence could

be presented before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) in its upcoming hearing over whether to grant Enbridge an operating permit for its Line 5 tunnel construction project in Straits of Mackinac.

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Chairman Newland resigns, takes post at Dept. of Interior

Feb. 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior today announced additional members of the agency leadership team working to steward America's natural, cultural and historic resources, and honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes.

“As we work to advance President Biden’s vision for a clean energy future that creates good-paying jobs, protects the environment, and powers our nation, we are thrilled to welcome our newest teammates. The diverse experiences of our staff will help us address the four intersecting challenges that the president has made a priority for his administration: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity and climate change — all of which disproportionately impact Tribal communities with whom we have a critical trust responsibility,” said Jennifer Van der Heide, chief of staff.

Previous leadership announcements can be found here and here. Interior’s political team proudly reflects the diversity of America, with more than 50% identifying as BIPOC (black, Indigenous and people of color) and 80% as women.

The appointees are listed below in alphabetical order along with their new role:

• Shakiyya Bland, Ed.D. - Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, Office of the Secretary

• Daniel Cordalis - Deputy Solicitor, Water

• Nada Culver - Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management

• Bryan Newland - Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs

CCHD announces possible exposure site

Feb. 22, 2021

CHIPPEWA COUNTY – Through contact tracing, Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) has determined the following location is a possible exposure site for COVID-19:

-Jacks’s Grub & Pub in Brimley, Feb. 17, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CCHD is recommending if you were at this location during the listed time period to monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the possible exposure. Anyone that is self- monitoring as a result should keep away from family, close contacts and roommates as much as possible. If you develop symptoms, please contact your medical provider or the health department at 906-635-1566.

BMIC to hold special election for chairperson vacancy

BAY MILLS — Due to the resignation of Chairman Newland, BMIC has called a special election to fill the seat.


Each day we will update BMIC tribal members on the candidates for the Special Election for the chairperson's seat on the tribal website


Thus far, the following individuals have submitted letters of intent:

• Whitney Gravelle

• River Hascall

• Levi D. Carrick, Sr. 

Candidate profiles can be found on the homepage of, under the special election notice. Click on names to review profile submissions. Candidates have until March 1 at 4 p.m. to submit a letter of intent to run for the seat.

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Advisory Councils seek volunteers

Jan. 21, 2021

Upper Peninsula Citizens’ Advisory Councils are seeking candidates to fill vacant seats for both the eastern and western U.P. councils. The councils, composed of about 20 members each, bring numerous constituent issues to the discussion table. The councils serve as an advisory body – making recommendations – to the DNR on a wide range of issues. New members must reside in an U.P. county and will represent the general public interested in natural resources. Apply prior to Feb. 1. For more information, call or email Kristi Dahlstrom at 906-226-1331, or apply here by clicking on "Application Form" posted under the map.

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BMIC responds to Dirt Divers request

Jan. 5, 2021

BAY MILLS — On Dec.  14, 2020, Bay Mills Indian Community received a letter from Dirt Divers Cultural Resource Management, seeking out tribal cultural resource information surrounding and within the Straits of Mackinac.


Dirt Divers is working for Enbridge Energy, which owns and operates the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits.

At this time, officials from BMIC will not assist Dirt Divers, or Enbridge, until the Tribe is notified on how sensitive cultural histories, ceremonies, sites, artifacts, and burial grounds will be protected during and after the survey.

“More often than not, throughout history, tribal resources and artifacts have been looted and stolen, only to be sold to museums for profit.” said BMIC Tribal Attorney, Whitney Gravelle. “Bay Mills Indian Community will only proceed when the proper safety measures have been identified to protect that which has been left to us by our ancestors.”

If any Bay Mills Indian Community residents are contacted by Dirt Divers Cultural Resource Management they are encouraged to inform the Bay Mills Legal Department immediately. You can reach the Legal Department at 906-248-8120 or by email at


Bergman sworn in to the 117th Congress

Jan. 3, 2021

Today, Rep. Jack Bergman was sworn in to the 117th Congress to serve his 3rd term. He released the following statement:

"I’m grateful and honored that the constituents of the First District have entrusted me to serve as their Representative in Washington for another term. Since day one, we’ve successfully fought to cut taxes and red tape, get a new Soo Lock underway, support our workers and small businesses, protect our rights, preserve our way of life, and keep our Great Lakes beautiful. I’m excited to serve in this new Congress and will continue to show up every day to fight for every First District constituent.”


The First District currently consists of 44% of the land mass of the State of Michigan. Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Jack Bergman was a small business owner, airline pilot, and spent 40 years in the United States Marine Corps where he fought in Vietnam. Rep. Bergman is the highest ranking combat Veteran ever elected to Congress. 

COVID-19 Terminology Tops Lake Superior State University’s Annual Banished Words List

Dec. 31, 2020

SAULT STE. MARIE — Enough already with COVID-19!

People across the U.S. and around the world let Lake Superior State University know that they’re tired not only of the coronavirus pandemic but also of hearing, reading, and talking about it—especially when the communication is bad or excessive.

Emergency Relief Package Extends Federal Unemployment Benefit Programs

Dec. 28, 2020

LANSING — A COVID-19 emergency relief package has been signed into law that continues and expands federal unemployment insurance (UI) programs.

BMRC reopens for business

Dec. 28, 2020

BAY MILLS — After a brief closure due to the pandemic, Bay Mills Resort & Casino has reopened to patrons, operating at limited capacity.

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