Senator Tina Smith and Bois Forte leaders look ahead to 2023

Senator Tina Smith and Bois Forte leaders look ahead to 2023
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 9:51 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. -- Senator Tina Smith joined this year’s Bois Forte Band of Chippewa State of the Band Address.

First, looking back at work she’s already done to help them.

“The laws that we have passed, some of them have bipartisan support from our leaders here in Minnesota,” said Senator Tina Smith. “Including support of tribal colleges, for improvements to drinking water, for broadband.”

But Thursday night, Bois Forte Band leaders let the senator know what their current and future needs are.

Asking for federal funding for better rural transportation, environmental initiatives and using their highest ever funding to improve tribal housing.

“This year, we were able to increase funding for the Indian Health Service,” Sen. Smith said. “For the first time ever, we are able to treat Indian Health Service just like we treat other crucial federal government agencies.”

Making more opportunities for band leaders to improve tribal resource groups.

“We are going to rise up our court system and improve it,” said Tara Geshick, the Secretary Treasurer for the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. “It’s already pretty well now, but we want to make sure it’s top notch.”

“The particular challenges of smaller, more rural, dispersed tribal nations is that you should seek to take advantage of, and benefit from federal resources that are there.” said Sen. Smith.

A push to assist people living in some of the most rural parts of Minnesota.

Senator Smith and Senator Klobuchar are working to secure $9.5 million in federal funding to construct a new transit facility on the Bois Forte Reservation.