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Number of new COVID cases increases sharply 

The following is a statement from Sault Tribe Health Director Leo Chugunov: 

Due to recent significant increase in a number of new COVID-19 cases, I highly recommend the use of masks indoors in public settings on all tribal lands located in Chippewa and Mackinac counties as these two counties are now categorized as a high-risk areas for transmission of COVID-19.  

For your convenience self-collect “drop off” COVID-19 Ag testing is offered at Sault Tribe Health Center, Hessel Tribal Health Center, St. Ignace Tribal Health Center, Manistique Tribal Health Center, Munising Tribal Health Center and Newberry Tribal Health Center.  

I also would like to use this opportunity to notify you that if you test positive for COVID-19, different treatment options may be suitable for you. For example, the anti-viral (COVID-19) treatment Paxlovid is available at Sault Tribe Health Center, St. Ignace Tribal Health Center, Manistique Tribal Health Center and Munising Tribal Health Center. This medication may help you recover from COVID-19 faster or prevent you from becoming seriously ill. Paxlovid is prescribed after a patient has tested positive for COVID-19, when it is appropriate for the patient and within five days of symptoms’ onset. In addition to COVID-19 Ag test, blood work maybe required in order for your provider to make an informed decision about the prescription or to select proper dose of Paxlovid. 

Monoclonal antibody treatment (mAB) could be an option as well. It is approved for emergency use in non-hospitalized adults and pediatric patients who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms or the need for hospitalization. Monoclonal antibody treatment may be given as an infusion or a series of injections. You must have a referral from your Provider to receive this treatment. It is available in the Emergency Rooms of local hospitals. 

Second Booster

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will hold a regular meeting beginning 5 p.m. on May 17 at the Sault Kewadin Casino, in person or via Zoom, https://zoom.us/j/96906911516.

Members who have already registered for Zoom meetings need not register again unless they have a matter for the board.

“Matters Raised by the Membership” will be held at 4 p.m. in person or by virtual attendance. The link is available Sault Tribe website under membership assistance for the meeting link and Membership Form that must be completed. The deadline to submit a form is 3 p.m. on meeting day. The link is https://zoom.us/j/96906911516.

Resolutions on the agenda: Partial Waiver, GLRI Aquatic Invasive Species, Tribal Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, Contract Award – CRRSAA Funds Manistique HC, ARPA Fund – Unit 1 Homeless Shelter, ARPA Fund – Unit 2 Housing, ARPA Fund – Unit 2 Cultural and Recreation Project, Recruitment/Retention of Health Provider Position, and Expenditures of Tribal Funds.

Under New Business, the board will consider Committee Actions, Special Advisory Election and Board Concerns.

May 17 Meeting Resolutions

At its May 10 meeting, the Sault Tribe Board of Directors unanimously declared the referendum petition regarding Res. 2022-90 invalid.

The Sault Election Committee reviewed the referendum petition forms and noted probable non-compliance with Section 12.106(2)of the Referendum Ordinance. This ordinance states: “…The petition shall bear the name and address of each signatory in legible form. The name and address of the person circulating the petition shall also be included.”

This is the same legal requirement for nomination petitions, in which each petition must state “the name of the person circulating the petition on all nomination petitions.” As an example, petitions with signatures from different states all signed on the same day could not have been witnessed by the petition’s circulator, making those signatures invalid.

As a result of these findings, the Election Committee recommends to the board the petitions be considered invalid.

Please see the attached opinion for further details.

Referendum Opinion Letter

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors accepted Chairperson Aaron Payment’s resignation at its May 10 meeting, effective immediately. The board is thankful for Payment’s service to the tribe and wishes him well in future endeavors.

The board will consider next steps at its regular May 17 meeting.

Payment served 20 years in elective office, 16 years as chair, two terms as vice chair and two terms as a board member.

“My commitment going forward is to dedicate my attention and education with three Master’s and a doctorate in education to finding solutions to the persisting low high school and college graduation for American Indians,” said Payment. “American Indians are the only Americans with a constitutional and treaty right to an education, yet have the worst outcomes. I’m dedicating the rest of my career to finding solutions to improve those outcomes.”

Payment said he will continue to serve in a Presidential appointment on the National Advisory Council of Indian Education, including serving as co-chair of the NACIE Annual Report Committee, which is not contingent on being an elected tribal leader.

Christmas Casino 2022Christmas Kewadin Casino is hosting a job fair. Come join us! Christmas Kewadin Casino lobby THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2022, 1-3 p.m. Accepting applications for all positions! To view the current list of openings please visit www.saulttribe.com. Direct Inquiries to Sault Tribe Human Resources, 3015 Mackinac Trail, St. Ignace, Ml 497811, 906‑643‑4176.


The Sault Tribe Health Center at 2864 Ashmun St. was evacuated for over an hour on Tuesday, May 10, after a fire alarm was triggered shortly before 12:30 p.m. Interim Fire Chief Kevin Mohar of the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department said a heating and cooling issue prompted the alarm. Firefighters noted minimal smoke and cosmetic damage to a small area inside the structure allowing staff to return at 1:36 p.m. In addition to three fire trucks and three ambulances, Sault Tribe Law Enforcement and Sault Police Department responded to the scene to assist with traffic control and congestion along the nearby street. The health center resumed operations upon clearance from emergency responders with staff running a bit behind schedule and playing catch-up for the remainder of the day.

The Bay Mills Indian Community's Journey to Healing Program will be hosting its 2nd Annual MMIP (Missing and Murdered Indigenous People) event on May 25, 2022 at the Bay Mills Memorial Park, S. Memorial Drive in Brimley.

Please join us for our walk and candlelight vigil to honor and remember all of our missing and murdered Indigenous people.

6:30 Registration and informational tables
7-8 p.m. Walk the track at your own pace
8:30 Candlelight Vigil

For more information please call 906‑379‑4714.

2nd Annual MMIP Event Flyer


The ninth annual Jim Ailing Memorial Golf Scramble is being held Saturday, June 25, at Tanglewood Marsh Golf Course. Registration is at 9 a.m. with a 10 a.m. tee off.

The cost of $60 per person includes 18 holes of golf, cart and BBQ dinner. Four person teams.

Prizes are for first, second and third place, and the longest men and women’s drives, closest to the pin, and the longest putt.

There will also be raffles and door prizes. Profits are split between Hospice of the EUP and Road to Recovery. 50/50 will go to Silent Hearts of the EUP in memory of Braxton Ailing. Braxton is Jim and Sheri’s great grandson who was born sleeping.

Contact Sheri Ailing at 906‑203‑5597, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Accepting donations for prizes, raffles, door prizes. Sponsor a hole for $50. Don’t golf? Join us for dinner around 3 p.m. for $15 each person.

Jim was a family man and an avid golfer who shared his love of golf with family and friends. Jim helped others when he could and having a golf scramble is the perfect way to continue his giving legacy. Jim was head of security and surveillance at Kewadin Casino’s for many years until he passed from lung cancer in July 2013.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors has announced it will hold a special meeting beginning at 5 p.m. on May 10 at the Sault Kewadin Casino, Grand Island Room in person or via Zoom, https://zoom.us/j/96906911516.

Agenda items include: Referendum Res. 2022-90; Election Interference Investigation and Censure Compliance.

May 10 Meeting Resolutions

All Tribal Members!

Sault Tribe Communications Department is conducting a survey to find out what tribal members want to see in an updated website. The present website saulttribe.com is getting a major facelift and we need your input to ensure it fulfills all your needs. Please visit https://forms.office.com/r/KPSXAj4wyb to participate.


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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY