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NCAI WinAaron Payment EdD, chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, was elected first vice president of the National Congress of American Indians Oct. 19, 2017, at the NCAI’s 74th annual convention in Milwaukee, Wis.

NCAI vice president said, “My heart, soul and commitment is to our Native people and families. I am honored to have garnered 14,254 votes (70 percent) for first vice president. I also want to recognize my Tribal Board for voting unanimously to support my continuation of this critical work at the national level advocating for our people in a non partisan way. Chi Miigwech.”

Payment served previously as Midwest area vice president and as secretary for NCAI.  He has testified over 15 times in Congress and has been invited to the White House under both Republican and Democratic Administrations. 

Now in his third term as Sault Tribe chairperson, Payment serves or has served in the following capacities:
National Advisory Council on Indian Education (Presidential Appointment); National Congress of American Indians, Executive Officer ~ Secretary; HHS Secretary Tribal Advisory Council Member; HHS Health Research Advisory Council Co-Chair; National Institutes of Health ~ Tribal Advisory Committee; Tribal Interior Budget Committee; Mid-West Alliance of Sovereign Tribes, Vice President; United Tribes of Michigan, President; Chippewa Ottawa Treaty Resource Authority, Chairperson; Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Vice President; Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Agency, Vice Chair; and Michigan Political Leadership Program, Advisory Board and Presenter.

Payment has been awarded numerous honors in his distinguished career, including 2015 National TRiO Achiever, 2013 Sergeant Shriver Achievement Honoree, 1999 NMU Distinguished Young Native American Alumni and 1994 Mid-West TRiO Achiever.

A high school dropout from an impoverished reservation community, Payment has since earned a G.E.D., a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree in Public Administration, Master’s in Education Administration, and, most recently, a doctorate in Education.

Other officers elected were:
President Jefferson Keel, Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation
Treasurer W. Ron Allen, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in the state of Washington
Secretary Juana Majel Dixon, Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians

Photo: Sault Tribe chairperson and NCAI first VP Aaron Payment thanks NCAI members for their support.

Come join in the fun at Bruce Township Hall on Oct. 21, noon - 7 p.m., 3156 E 12 Mile Road.

Featuring a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and prizes for kids too!

Adults $ 12, kids 6-14 $7, 5 and under eat free!

Prepared by the Bruce Township Volunteer Fire Department.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — A regular meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held at the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace starting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24. The meeting will be preceded by “Matters Raised by the Membership” from 4 to 6 p.m.

Resolutions on the agenda are, under Budgets, ACFS – Binogii and Foster Care, ACFS – General Assistance, Self Insurance – Medical, FY 2018 Schedule B, 2018 Budget Doc 004 Enterprises, and 2018 Enterprises Cap Ex; Approving Lease – Marquette Health Center, Amending Key Employee Res. 2005-199, Amending Tribal Code 45-Workers Comp; Authorization to Initiate Litigation Mandatory Trust; US v Michigan Negotiations; Establishing New Wage Grids, and Sale of Vacant Property.   

Under New Business, the board will consider Committee Requests, Key Employee and Board Concerns.

October 24 Meeting Resolutions

Kathy Twardy will speak at the FAN forum on stress and the nutrition link. FAN meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m., in the Civic Room of Huntington Bank (downstairs).

FAN — your connection for information, resources, and support. FAN’s mission is saving lives by empowering individuals and communities to prevent and eradicate addiction. We envision a nation free of narcotic addiction and our purpose is to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription narcotics, support those affected by narcotic addiction and erase the stigma of addiction.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.familiesagainstnarcotics.org/chippewa or www.facebook.com/fanchipp.

A fish fry benefit dinner for Sue Mackie is set to help with medical costs while battling cancer.

The dinner takes place on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, 4-8 p.m., at VFW Post 3676 at 407 W. Portage Avenue in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Featured items on the menu are whitefish, French fires, coleslaw, dinner roll and dessert. Cost is $13.50 for adults, $7 for children 12 and under. Take out available!

Other features of this benefit fundraiser include 50/50 draw, silent auction and dessert table.

To donate, please call Heidi Wilson at 720-227-3066 or Derek Myerscough at 906-748-1259.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — A special meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, at 11:50 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Sault Kewadin Casino.

On the agenda is “National Congress of American Indians Support for Chairperson Payment.”

Aaron Payment 121715 4 x 5Aaron Payment, chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, was unanimously re-elected as president of the United Tribes of Michigan Oct. 11 at Gun Lake in Shelbyville, Mich.

The UTM president said, “I appreciate the unanimous support of Michigan tribal leaders to continue to serve as the president of UTM and look forward to representing all tribes to protect or sovereignty and uphold our treaty rights, including full funding for tribal programs and governmental services.”

Payment is also running for National Congress of American Indians first vice president next week. Payment served previously as Midwest area vice president and as secretary for NCAI.  He has testified over 15 times in Congress and has been invited to the White House under both Republican and Democratic Administrations.

Now in his second term as Sault Tribe chairperson, Payment serves in the following capacities:
National Advisory Council on Indian Education (Presidential Appointment);
National Congress of American Indians, Executive Officer ~ Secretary;
HHS Secretary Tribal Advisory Council Member;
HHS Health Research Advisory Council Co-Chair;
National Institutes of Health ~ Tribal Advisory Committee;
Tribal Interior Budget Committee;
Mid-West Alliance of Sovereign Tribes, Vice President;
United Tribes of Michigan, President;
Chippewa Ottawa Treaty Resource Authority, Chairperson;
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Vice President;
Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Agency, Vice Chair; and Michigan Political Leadership Program, Advisory Board and Presenter.

Payment has been awarded numerous honors in his distinguished career, including 2015 National TRiO Achiever, 2013 Sergeant Shriver Achievement Honoree, 1999 NMU Distinguished Young Native American Alumni and 1994 Mid-West TRiO Achiever.

A high school dropout from an impoverished reservation community, Payment has since earned a G.E.D., a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree in Public Administration, Master’s in Education Administration, and, most recently, a doctorate in Education.

Families Against Narcotics (FAN) is sponsoring its fifth annual fundraising pig roast Hogs for Hope on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Sault Armory in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Tickets are $10 (from any FAN member or at the door).

There will be a pulled pork dinner with all the fixin’s, entertainment, kids’ games, a silent auction, bake sale, pie contest and a 50/50 draw. Kids 6 and under eat free. This is a fun family event.

All proceeds go to FAN of Chippewa County. For more information visit www.facebook.com/fanchipp.

For tickets call 906-322-4290.

Hogs for Hope Flyer 2017

LSSU Arts Center Theatre
Admission is free.
Nov. 3 at 3-5 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.
There will be a Q&A session after each showing.

“Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience” is an exciting and compelling one-hour documentary that invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the Midwest, particularly Michigan. It dispels the myth that American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive and make significant contributions to society. Their experiences will deeply touch both Natives and non-Natives and help build bridges of understanding, respect, and communication.

The tragic history of Native Americans is considered by many to be our “American Holocaust.” This can be seen in the history of the Boarding School Era, during which time Native children were forcibly removed from their homes and placed into boarding schools. Interviewees explain how this past trauma continues to negatively impact their emotional and physical health today and contribute to urgent social problems.

To help heal this historical trauma, Native peoples are reclaiming their spiritual and cultural identity. In the documentary, an Ojibwa Firekeeper demonstrates the ancient healing ceremony of the Sacred Fire. Also, a Native American businessman, journalist, artist and youth advocate share how they use ancestral teachings to foster diversity and creativity as well as to educate and initiate social change. The stories shared in this documentary are powerful, startling, despairing and inspiring. They reflect an American history fraught with the systematic destruction of a people. Yet, amidst the debris of suffering and trauma, there is resilience and a profound remembering and healing taking place today, which will also benefit the next Seven Generations.

Produced by Visions. Audrey Geyer has been an independent video producer/director for almost 20 years. Many of her programs have aired nationally on PBS. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Visions, a non-profit 501(c) 3 independent video production company located in Metro Detroit, which focuses on the production of public affairs documentaries that tell the stories of communities underrepresented in the mainstream media. Visions’ most recent production is “Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience.”

Our Fires Still Burn: The Native American Experience

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians has requested its EDC to identify all interested parties and bring forward proposals for the space formally known as the American Café, located in downtown at 531 Ashmun St., Sault Ste Marie, Mich.

This property is located on land held in trust for the Sault Tribe and thus falls under its legal jurisdiction. This potentially offers benefits to the business operator that could include certain federal designations (HUBZone, Foreign Trade Zone), benefits as defined in the Sault Tribe Tax Agreement with the state of Michigan, and connectivity to tribal, state and federal support systems.

The space is approximately 3,503 square feet previously operated as a café, with some residual equipment and infrastructure in place. Its common tenants would include the Ojibwe Learning Center and Library and the River of History Museum, as well as numerous departments with staffing of over 100 Sault Tribe employees.

The goals of the Sault Tribe’s economic development efforts will be applied in reviewing opportunities. It is our goal to create and enhance our tribal business infrastructure, make sound economic development investments to create revenue streams to benefit the tribe and to support and promote Sault Tribe member owned businesses.

Please call or email Joel Schultz, Economic Development Director, at (906) 635-6050 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to discuss your potential project.

© 2017 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY