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Fish farmers find new applications for old dairy equipment

It’s unlikely most people get excited when they see a vacant manure pit, but converted storage lagoons on former dairy farms can be money-making ventures for aquaculture operations. We hear from a Michigan Sea Grant expert in the Western UP and from Wisconsin farmers.  Read More

BMCC to provide free virus testing to students and staff

BAY MILLS — Bay Mills Community College students will have the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 on the first two days of classes this fall term:  

  • Monday, Aug. 31 from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Sept,1 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Testing is optional, but strongly encouraged. This service is being made available in partnership with Bay Mills Health Center. There will be no additional cost to students, although those with insurance will be asked to provide their information.

Testing for students will take place in the parking lot behind the college library  at 12214 W. Lakeshore Drive.  

Each student participating in testing will drive up to the designated location with a completed consent form, where a nasal swab will be taken for a rapid test.  For those insured, please present your insurance card with your completed consent form.  Results will be available within 15 minutes of the test. 

Please contact the following people to make your appointment:

Judge grants BMIC the right  intervene in court case

Aug. 12, 2020

LANSING — An administrative law judge granted Bay Mills Indian Community the right to intervene in the ongoing pipeline fight uniting Tribes, environmental groups and community members against oil giant Enbridge. 

Economic assistance available to BMIC tribal members

Application for COVID-19 Economic Assistance

  • The application can be downloaded and completed on your computer. Once you complete the application, send it, along with any required documentation to

  • Completed applications may also be dropped at the Bay Mills Tribal Administration Building or mailed to 12140 W. Lakeshore Drive, Brimley, MI 49715

Waishkey River Watershed Management Plan Draft Available for Public Scoping

BRIMLEY, MI – Bay Mills Indian Community has developed a draft watershed management plan for the Waishkey River. This has been developed in partnership with the Chippewa County Health Department, Chippewa County Road Commission, Chippewa Luce Mackinac Conservation District, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (now Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy), Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Superior Township, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and USDA United States Forest Service. The draft plan has been completed as is now available for a 30-day public scoping.


Over five years, partners crafted a watershed management plan to reduce pollutants specific to Waishkey River Watershed; they include pathogens, nutrients, pesticides, sediment, and heavy metals. 

Watershed Management Plan Goals: 

  1. Identify ways to help restore Waishkey River to meet state and federal water quality standards. 

  2. Engage stakeholders, build strong partnerships and conduct public outreach on nonpoint source (NPS) pollution issues and the planning process. 

  3. Identify critical areas and potential management measures that can be implemented to reduce nonpoint source pollutant loadings to the impaired waterbody as identified by the Waishkey River TMDLs. Identify potential sources of bacteria and pollutant loads and measure to… 

  4. Determine pollutant load reduction estimates based on implementation of best management practices in critical areas to improve water quality. 

 Read the full plan here

State offers online portal with Line 5 permitting information

July 7, 2020

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) together with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA) today announced the launch of the Line 5 in Michigan website.

Tips offered on how to stay safe during warm summer temperatures

Possible COVID-19 exposure sites identified

July 7, 2020

With contact tracing and case investigation the following exposure sites have been identified as possible places of exposure to COVID-19. 

June 27, 2020 - 
~2:30 p.m. Star Line Ferry (top deck) from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island. 
~3 p.m.-5 p.m. Pink Pony Bar & Grill at the Chippewa Hotel (in the bar dining area)
~6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. Star Line Ferry (top deck) from Mackinac Island to Mackinaw City

If you were present at any of these locations during the dates and times noted, please monitor for symptoms and contact your local health department. For Mackinac County residents, please call 906-643-1100. For Chippewa County residents, please call 906-635-1566. For Cheboygan County residents, please call 231-627-8850.

LMAS District Health Department reminds everyone that COVID-19 is present in our communities and it is vital that you continue to wear cloth face coverings when in large gatherings and in enclosed spaces, wash your hands, maintain at least six feet of distance from those not in your household, and stay home if you don’t feel well. 

For additional information on COVID-19, please visit, or

CCHD announces exposure site in Chippewa County

July 3, 2020

Chippewa County Health Department has identified the Big Bear All in One Fitness Club located in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as a possible exposure site for COVID-19. 

If you were in the Big Bear All In One Fitness Club Monday through Friday between June 22, 2020 and July 3, 2020 during the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., please monitor for symptoms and contact the Chippewa County Health Department at (906) 635-1566. 

The health department strongly encourages social distancing, limiting close contact with people outside of your household, wearing a mask in public places and frequent hand washing.

Seven cases of COVID-19 now confirmed as active in Chippewa County
BMIC Moves back to level three restrictions : 

BAY MILLS (June 30) —Chippewa County Health Department is now reporting 7 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Chippewa County (in addition to a number of probable cases that have not yet been confirmed). Based upon the rapid growth of positive cases of COVID-19 within Chippewa County this week, and the unknown potential for exposure to Bay Mills tribal citizens, residents, and employees, the Executive Council has moved the Tribe back to Level 3 Restrictions on our COVID-19 response plan.

Under Level 3:

1. Large gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited
2. Businesses may operate at up to 50% capacity
3. Use of outdoor recreation facilities is limited to 10 people at once (eg. playgrounds, basketball courts, and parks)
4. Masks are required in all public settings
5. Certain tribal employees will be eligible for hazard pay

As a consequence of this decision, the Bay Mills Annual 4th of July Fireworks Show has been CANCELED. 

In addition, Bay Mills Indian Community will not have any official floats or displays in 4th of July parades in the area, and residents are advised to avoid large gatherings outside the Reservation.

BMIC receives USDA loan to construct new health center
LSSU renews Coast Guard tuition agreement
Two new deans appointed at LSSU
Bay Mills Boys & Girls Club receives HUD grant for new building

BAY MILLS — For several years, Bay Mills Boys & Girls Club Director Sandra Walden has imagined a new building to house her program. Last week, Walden’s wish came true, as Bay Mills Indian Community was awarded a $900k grant to construct a new facility by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development in the form of an Indian Community Development Block Grant.  The BGC building was one of 111 projects that was selected to be funded by the grant.

Read More

BMCC begins search for new president
Longtime President Mickey Parish to retire

BAY MILLS — After leading Bay Mills Community College for nearly 20 years, BMCC President Michael “Mickey” Parish has announced his retirement.


Parish began at BMCC in 2002. Under his leadership college programs flourished and the campus grew to meet the needs of the student body. Parish oversaw the construction of Mikanuk Hall, s new administration building, the establishment of Waishkey Bay Farm, and the development of BMCC’s first bachelor’s degree program.


Prior to his work at BMCC, Parish served in various capacities, including as a councilperson and tribal chairman of Bay Mills Indian Community.  His work includes seats on the boards of Michigan Indian Legal Services and Michigan State Advisory Council to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Parish was also a presidential appointment to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.


Filling Parish’s shoes won’t be easy.   


“One of the main reasons this place is the best place to work is because of the leadership of Mickey Parish, “ said Kathy Adair, director of development at BMCC. “Mickey manages with forethought.  He does not make rash decisions and respects the contributions of all of his employees, making BMCC a place to be heard, valued, and respected.”  


Parish feels the same way about his staff.


“I would have to say that BMCC is one of the finest places I have ever worked and the staff are truly caring individuals looking out for the best interest of the students we serve,” he said.


The search for a new president has begun, with applications being taken until June 30. According to BMCC Human Resources Director Stacey Walden, interviews will take place throughout the month of July, with a candidate selected by Aug. 1. The start date for the position will by Sept. 1, which will allow the new president to work alongside Parish for a semester, before his retirement at the end of the year.


Individuals interested in applying for the position should have a doctoral degree or equivalent, with extensive work experience in a tribal community college or public school environment. Applicants with extensive work experience as a senior-level administrator will also be considered. All applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence and a persona understanding of Native American culture.


For more information or to apply for the position, visit BMCC online at:

Bay Mills Resort & Casino to open on June 12
MDOC has tested every prisoner in the system for COVID-19

In order to accomplish this feat of testing every prisoner, the MDOC reached out to the Michigan National Guard for their assistance and they stepped up to the challenge.

Secretary of State offices reopen on June 1- by appointment only
Boil Water Advisory lifted

May 21, 2020

BAY MILLS — BMIC residents are no longer advised to boil their water. 

Native American Rights Fund and Earthjustice join Enbridge fight

May 12, 2020 

BAY MILLS — As Enbridge continues to move forward with plans to build a tunnel to house Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac, Bay Mills Indian Community continues to fight.


This week, BMIC added a few new tools to their belt — enlisting the services of Earthjustice and the Native American Rights Fund to assist in the legal battle against Enbridge.


Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest environmental law organization working to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change.


NARF has provided specialized legal assistance to Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide since 1970. NARF works in such critical areas as tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, natural resource protection, voting rights, and Indian education.


Both organizations are representing BMIC pro bono. Read the full release.

BMIC activates COVID-19 Response Plan

May 11, 2020

Bay Mills Executive Council adopted a five-level action plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is currently operating at level 4, removing the curfew from residents. View all levels of the response plan here. 

Lake Superior State announces early start to fall semester

May 7, 2020

SAULT STE. MARIE — Lake Superior State University announced today they are adjusting the academic calendar. Instead of beginning classes on Aug. 24, instruction will commence on Monday, Aug. 10. The semester will conclude prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

As the administration analyzed plans for face-to-face instruction for the fall semester, it became apparent that many of the safety considerations and protocols under consideration can be greatly enhanced if the university enables students to travel to campus early and complete the semester by Thanksgiving. Read More.

Paradise Blueberry Festival canceled

May 7, 2020

In response to concerns about the pandemic, Paradise has canceled the annual Blueberry Festival. The festival was scheduled to take place in August.

Comment on Enbridge application

April 26, 2020

The Michigan Public Service Commission has put Enbridge's application on hold for public comment until May 13. Here's more information on how you can have your voice heard:

Written or electronic comments will be accepted no later than May 13, officials said. Electronic comments are to be e-mailed to and should reference case number U-20763. Written comments may be addressed to: Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, 7109 W. Saginaw Hwy., Lansing, MI 48917.

BMIC Health Center offers guidance on what to expect if you have come into contact with COVID-19 positive individual
Gov. Whitmer extends Executive Order

April 24, 2020

Stay at home order extended to May 15 for Michigan residents

The new order will require people to wear homemade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also lift some restrictions on outdoor activities and allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back to work. View the full order here.

Bay Mills issues guidance on license plates

The Executive Council has adopted a resolution to temporarily extend the validity of all Bay Mills tribal license plates until June 30th. If your tribal license plate expired after February 1st, you do not need to renew until after June 30th. For people who need new license plates, we can work with you by appointment. The details are in the graphic attached here.

MDHHS issues statement about COVID-19 death data

April 16, 2020

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services  released the following statement about today’s update of COVID-19 death statistics.


Beginning Friday, April 10, MDHHS staff has been reviewing death certificate data maintained in the state’s Vital Records reporting systems on a weekly basis. As a part of this process, records that identify COVID-19 infection as a contributing factor to death are compared against all laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Michigan Disease Surveillance System. If a death certificate is matched to a confirmed COVID-19 case and that record in the MDSS does not indicate a death, the MDSS record is updated to indicate the death and the appropriate local health department is notified.


These matched deaths are then included with mortality information posted to On April 10, this process added 30 deaths. As a result of this week’s assessment, today’s data includes 65 additional deaths identified through this methodology.

In addition, today’s update includes additional statistics, the inclusion of the percentage of cumulative cases and deceased cases by Arab ethnicity; case fatality rate by county; respiratory outbreaks in congregate settings by county; and Syndromic Surveillance System data of coronavirus-like symptoms from emergency departments.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and  

Feeding America Truck to be at OCS on April 22

CCHD announces changes to virus reporting

April 15, 2020

CHIPPEWA COUNTY– On April 16, the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services will begin reporting on the number of probable cases for each county, along with current reporting of laboratory confirmed cases and deaths. Read More

Great Lakes Composites Institute project donates PPE to local organizations

April 8, 2020

MDHHS issues Emergency Order requiring compliance with Executive Orders under penalty of civil fines up to $1,000

April 2, 2020

LANSING — As of Thursday, April 2, Michigan has recorded more than 10,000 cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) with 417 deaths. To help control the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order on April 2 setting a civil penalty of up to $1,000 and a process for referral to licensing agencies for violations of Executive Orders 2020-11, 2020-20 and 2020-21. Criminal penalties for violation will remain an option for prosecutors.

“A person can have coronavirus without knowing it,” Gordon said.  “They can spread the disease to others who can spread it to others.  The only way to stop the spread is social distancing. A civil penalty and potential licensing actions send a strong message to Michiganders that social distancing is essential to saving lives.”

The Emergency Order requires that every person must comply with the procedures and restrictions outlined in these Executive Orders and the instructions provided in their accompanying FAQs.

  • Executive Order 2020-11 temporarily prohibits large assemblages and events and temporarily closes schools.

  • Executive Order 2020-20 places temporary restrictions on the use of places of public accommodation. 

  • Executive Order 2020-21 temporarily restricts gatherings and travel and prohibits in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.

In addition to civil penalties, entities regulated by a licensing agency will be referred to relevant licensing agencies for additional enforcement action as determined by that agency. Places of religious worship, when used for religious worship, are exempt from the Emergency Rules.

Law enforcement agencies across the state are authorized to investigate potential violations of Executive Orders 2020-11, 2020-20 and 2020-21 and coordinating as necessary with their local health departments to enforce this Emergency Order within their jurisdiction. Law enforcement is specifically authorized to bar access to businesses and operations that fail to comply with the procedures and restrictions outlined in the Executive Orders. County prosecutors are authorized to enforce this Emergency Order to control the epidemic and protect the public health in coordination with the appropriate local law enforcement authority and, as necessary, the local health department. 

Gov. Whitmer suspends face-to-face school instruction for rest of school year

April 2, 2020

BMIC extends casino closure to April 30

March 30, 2020

Unemployment benefits increased and expanded

March 30, 2020

Mackinac County reports first case of COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Luce County reports first case of COVID-19

March 25, 2020

U.P. Energy Task Force issues draft recommendations regarding pipeline

March 24, 2020

BMIC issues shelter at home order

March 23, 2020

CCHD confirms presumptive positive virus test in Chippewa County

March 22, 2020

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