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BMIC receives grant for language preservation

BAY MILLS — Bay Mills Indian Community has received a three-year, $363k grant to provide cultural and language instruction within the community. The grant, part of the 2023 Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance Project, will allow the tribe to hire an individual that will serve as the cultural language educator. 

The educator’s primary goal is to assist in building second language fluency in Anishinaabemowin. The person serving in this position will lay the groundwork for the development and implementation of a community-wide immersion program that will provide Anishinaabemowin instruction, workshops, and events with wide community involvement bringing a range of ages from elder to youth together. Activities will include social media postings, interactive activities, and signage in Anishinaabe throughout the community. 

BMIC at large, BMIC tribal citizens, community members, and BMIC employees will have materials made available to them to help preserve and promote language within the organization and community. 

“Language is a vital component of culture,” said BMIC President Whitney Gravelle. “When we lose our language, we lose a unique understanding of our history, relationships, and perceptions we have of the world. It is extremely important as we develop other areas throughout our tribal nations that we are also developing cultural language resources as well. Our language, Anishinaabemowin, has existed for thousands of years and it is our responsibility to ensure it exists for thousands of years more.”

The cultural language educator position will be posted later this fall. Once hired, the individual will coordinate their activities with the existing cultural and history department.

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New Lock at the Soo project gets updated, increased Benefit Cost Ratio

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District New Lock at the Soo project fiscal year 2023 (FY23) Supplemental Economic Update has been approved with a policy-compliant Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.1 at the 2.5% Federal Discount Rate, allowing the Corps of Engineers to more accurately document benefits and analyze the value this project will bring.

“The economic update was completed to evaluate critical assumptions and uncertainties in the BCR, justification of the project was not in question,” Mollie Mahoney, Senior New Lock Project Manager said. “The primary focus was on updating the benefits identified in the 2018 Validation Study, including the cost estimate for the Escanaba Build Out.”

The 2018 outdated cost estimate for the hypothetical Escanaba Build Out required a robust reevaluation. The cost of the Escanaba Build Out included expansion of the Port of Escanaba and associated rail infrastructure from Duluth to Escanaba as well as operation and maintenance costs. To calculate the BCR, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers updated and evaluated the hypothetical plan of constructing the Escanaba Build Out to calculate what the costs of an alternative mode of transportation would be in the case of an unscheduled Poe Lock outage to derive the benefits.

“Construction of the New Lock at the Soo has continued through the economic update based on the total project benefits and criticality to the nation,” said Mahoney. “Resiliency of the Soo Locks is vital to America’s economic and national security.”

The economic update, including the new BCR of 2.1 (at 2.5% Federal Discount Rate for FY23), further emphasizes justification of the project and its value to the nation.

With the updated BCR and more accurate comparison of benefits to cost, the New Lock at the Soo project will continue to follow the agency’s budgeting process for project implementation and should compete more favorably with other construction projects throughout the country.

The Supplemental Economic Update is an addendum to the FY22 Post Authorization Change Report and was conducted by the Corps of Engineers.

To find more information on the New Lock at the Soo, visit the Detroit District Website: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/About/Highlighted-Projects/New_Soo_Lock/.

National Income Guidelines for Free and Reduced Priced Meals for Schools and the Child and Adult Care Food Program are Announced

The Michigan Department of Education has announced the release of the household income guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for free and reduced-price meals and free milk through the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, and Child and Adult Care Food programs. The income guidelines are effective now through June 30, 2024.

 

Families should contact their school, school district, childcare center, or family day care home sponsor to find out whether it participates in these programs.

Will Canada Stand Up for Indigenous Rights or Continue Supporting Big Oil?

The Line 6b disaster was a wake-up call for the Bay Mills Indian Community and other Anishinabek peoples living around the Great Lakes. Before the spill, many community members were unaware that their neighborhoods even had pipelines, which isn’t surprising since most were installed in the 1950s. The rusting, aging infrastructure poses a serious threat of another catastrophic oil spill, particularly Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, a 70-year-old dinosaur lurking in the Great Lakes.

Bay Mills Elk Hunting – Application Period is Open

Interested Bay Mills members may apply at the Conservation Office through July 31  (4 p.m).  The drawing is scheduled for Aug. 2 , at the Conservation Committee meeting.  For more information, please call (906) 248-8645.

Attention BMIC Commercial Fishers:

The trap net zone (Alpena) sign up sheet is now available.  Sign up sheets will be posted at the Tribal Office and Conservation Office.  Apply through the end of July.

Deadline for photo contest fast approaching!

DETROIT --The Detroit District invites photographers to enter its 8th annual photo contest highlighting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sites across the Great Lakes.

The top 12 photographs highlighting Detroit District Great Lakes projects such as the Soo Locks, Duluth Ship Canal, piers, breakwaters or federal channels and harbors will earn a spot in the 2024 downloadable calendar. The entry deadline is 11:59 p.m. July 21, with winners determined by social media vote. The Soo Locks Visitors Center Association will award the top three photographers a plaque featuring their photo.

“We really look forward to connecting with our community through the photo contest every year,” said District Commander Lt. Col. Brett Boyle. “It is a great way to appreciate the amazing places that we all live and work.”

Officials will upload digital photo submissions to an album on the Detroit District Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/USACEDetroitDistrict/ July 25, and tally public voting through ‘likes’ until 9:00 a.m. Aug. 4.

By entering the contest, participants agree to abide by official contest instructions and rules, found on the district website at: https://www.lre.usace.army.mil/Media/Photo-Contest/. Interactive maps of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, harbors and civil works projects are available: shorturl.at/iwyM5 and shorturl.at/hoCN4.

For more details, contact Emily Schaefer, Detroit District public affairs specialist, 313-226-4681.

Sea lamprey control planned for the St. Mary’s River

SAULT STE. MARIE — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fisheries and Oceans Canada personnel will apply lampricides to sections of the St. Mary’s River (Chippewa County) to kill sea lamprey larvae burrowed in the stream bottom. Applications will be conducted on or about July 18 in accordance with State of Michigan permits. Applications will be complete in about eight days. Application dates are tentative and may be changed based upon local weather or stream conditions near the time of treatment.

Sea lamprey larvae live in certain Great Lakes tributaries and transform to parasitic adults that migrate to the Great Lakes and kill fish. Failure to kill the larvae in streams would result in significant damage to the Great Lakes fishery.

Bay Mills releases Water Quality Report
2022 Tribal Economic Impact Report released
Chippewa County Childcare Survey

Public Notice of Intent to Construct
Reconstruct and pave Memorial Drive.  Pave Loons Lane & West Little Bear Road in Bay Mills
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