“We can do more” was the message of Marge Anderson, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, in her annual address to Band members Tuesday, Jan. 10. She spoke to a crowd of 1,200 people at the 2012 State of the Band Address at Grand Casino Mille Lacs.
“For 20 years, our lives have been tied to our businesses – most notably Grand Casinos. For more than 10 years, our lives have also been tied to our reaffirmed treaty rights,” Anderson said. “But those two things are not all that we are – not even close.”
She went on to urge both Band members and tribal government officials to continue making the Band “something greater.”
“We have not come this far to stop growing,” she added.
Anderson called on Band members to volunteer more.
“Years ago that was the foundation of our community,” she said, but today she sees that foundation cracking. She wants those cracks filled with active community members, noting that gangs, drugs and violence could destroy the foundation if the community doesn’t get involved now.
Anderson applauded several Band members who have helped neighbors and Elders, served on volunteer committees, and risked their own safety to protect others.
“They expect nothing in return,” she added. “This is the traditional Ojibwe way.”
For the full story, see the Thursday, Jan. 19 print edition of the Times.