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The Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Kewadin Casinos are pleased to announce that today, after more than a year of work on regulations and review, the Michigan Gaming Control Board has authorized the Sault Tribe to begin online sports betting and online gaming at noon on Friday, Jan. 22. 

Kewadin Casinos, along with partner WynnBET, launched the “brick and mortar” Sportsbook operation at all five Kewadin Casinos locations in December 2020. The online sports betting and gaming will be available via desktop web, mobile web and Apple iOS and Android apps beginning Friday at noon.

“With the state of Michigan’s announcement today regarding the opening of online sports betting and online gaming, we are happy to see the final stages of our partnership with Wynn Resorts come to fruition,” Sault Tribe EDC Director Joel Schultz said. “Our experience preparing for this date gives us great appreciation for the professionalism and knowledge Wynn Resorts brings to the table. We know these assets will provide our guests with an exceptional online gaming and betting experience. Our staff is very appreciative of the work put in by Wynn, GAN, our legal team and the Board of Directors.”

Kewadin Casinos CEO Allen Kerridge said, “We have looked forward to this announcement since the implementation of our bricks and mortar Sportsbook inside our Kewadin Casinos locations. This is a big step for our tribe that will provide more gaming opportunities for our guests.”

Online Sports Betting and Gaming Approved to Start Friday

LumeStore opening follows historic partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lume Cannabis Co. will begin offering its high-quality cannabis products for adult-use customers in Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding communities Friday, Jan. 15, beginning at 1 p.m. The store, located at 246 3 Mile Rd in Sault Ste. Marie, is Lume’s 14th store in Michigan.

“At Lume, we pride ourselves on offering an unmatched variety of safe and high-quality THC and CBD products and we are excited to introduce our brand and show cannabis in a new light to adult-use consumers in Sault Ste. Marie and the eastern Upper Peninsula,” Doug Hellyar, president and COO of Lume, said. “We thank the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians for welcoming us with open arms and look forward to joining this vibrant community and serving the cannabis needs of the entire Sault Ste. Marie community and beyond.”

The store will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. All first-time customers will receive a 10 percent discount and a free 0.7g pre-roll.

“We partnered with Lume Cannabis Company because they have the expertise, passion, values and philosophy to expand economic development on tribal land and bring a safe, high-quality product to our community,” Joel Schultz, Sault Tribe Economic Development executive director, said. “The opening of the Sault Ste. Marie store is just the first of many exciting announcements that come with this historic partnership.”

Over the summer, the company is planning to open five additional stores on tribal land this year and next year, Lume and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe announced.

Lume offers more than 20 strains of high-quality Lume flower, lines of effects-based Lume Cartridges and Lume Gummies, a line of Lume-branded CBD infused tinctures, balms, body butters and more.

All Lume flower is grown and cultivated in a state-of-the-art facility in Evart, Mich., by a team of highly trained and experienced growers, which ensures all Lume products have consistent aromas, appearances and effects.

All Lume products are produced without harmful chemicals and go through the most rigorous testing in the industry to ensure they meet the highest standards for quality and safety.

For a full listing of products available in Sault Ste. Marie, visit www.lume.com/sault-ste-marie

Lume Cannabis Company is a privately held, vertically integrated cannabis company with deep Michigan roots, committed to producing high-quality cannabis products for medical patients and recreational consumers to enjoy.

Lume also operates stores in Adrian, Big Rapids, Evart, Honor, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lowell, Mackinaw City, Negaunee, Owosso, Petoskey, Petersburg and Walled Lake, and will have 100 stores open across the state by the end of 2024.

To learn more, visit www.lume.com or follow us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/lumecann


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will hold a regular meeting Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. at the Sault Kewadin Casino. Due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the meetings are not open to the public.

Resolutions on the agenda are: Budget modifications: Cultural – Anishnaabemowin Theater Project, ACFS – Tribal Governments, Natural Resources – Manoomin, Natural Resources – Invasive Species Surveillance, Natural Resources – Wintering Complexes, Dental Clinics – Sault, St. Ignace, Manistique, 3rd Party; Limited Waiver – Internet Gaming, Limited Waiver –Sports Betting, Online Gaming, Sports Betting, Limited Waiver; Contract – Patterson, Earnhart, Real Bird & Wilson, Contract – Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak, & Somerville, Contract – Foster Garvey, Contract – Butzel Long, Contract – Alexis Lambros, Contract – Sonosky Chambers and Contract – Ogitchiida Qwe.

Under New Business is an Interim Appointment, Key Employee and Board Concerns.

January 19 Meeting Resolutions

The following committees have vacant seats. Sault Tribe members interested in filling these vacancies should submit one letter of intent and three letters of recommendation from other members to Joanne Carr or Linda Grossett, 523 Ashmun St., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. Call 906‑635‑6050 with any questions.

Anishinaabe Cultural Committee - six vacancies – three males (4-year term), three female (4-year term)
Child Welfare Committee - three vacancies (4-year term)
Conservation Committee - one vacancy – Fisheries (term expiring: 3/3/2023)
Election Committee - three vacancies (4-year term)
Higher Education Committee - Two vacancies (4-year term)
Health Board - five vacancies (4-year term)
Housing Commission - one vacancy-open to all units (4-year term)
Special Needs/Enrollment Committee - five vacancies (2-year term)

CHIPPEWA County, Michigan – Beginning Jan. 11, 2021, the Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) will vaccinate individuals in Phase 1B. However, CCHD does not have sufficient vaccine supply for all individuals in this group but is collaborating with War Memorial Hospital to supply the vaccine.

Karen Senkus, Health Officer, stated, “With the support of War Memorial Hospital, CCHD is able to begin vaccination of the 65+ age population and other priority 1B individuals. However, this will take time and is dependent upon the continued availability of vaccine.”

The public is asked to be patient as CCHD works to ensure a fair distribution of the limited resources. As vaccine supply increases, CCHD and its partners will expand vaccination opportunities to meet our community’s needs.

Currently, Chippewa County’s prioritization plan includes:

Individuals ages 65+ can schedule an appointment via the Health Department website www.chippewahd.com or by calling 906‑635‑3572, option 1. Please note appointments are first come, first served. No walkins.

As vaccine supply increases, additional clinics will be scheduled.

Check the website regularly for updated information.

Additionally, the Health Department is working to schedule select frontline essential workers for upcoming vaccination clinics. Eligible employees will be notified directly from their employer to schedule.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Further information will be shared when updates are available. Visit the health department website at www.chippewahd.com and follow us on social media @ChippewaCountyHealth.

Priority Groups Vaccination

Michiganders over age 65, some frontline essential workers can receive safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday

LANSING, Mich. —To help reach the state’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders over age 16 and bring a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) officials announced on Jan. 6 the state is moving to a new phase of vaccination on Monday, Jan. 11.

Sault Tribe members should be aware that, in addition to receiving vaccinations from the tribe, they have the option of receiving vaccinations from the counties in which they are residents. “Tribal members have rights to exercise a choice to these vaccines in the county in which they reside,” said Sault Tribe Executive Director Christine McPherson. “They do not have to only be vaccinated by their tribe.”

The state moves forward with vaccination of Michiganders age 65 and older; frontline essential workers including police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers and jail and prison staff; and preK-12 teachers and childcare providers. To date, 80 percent of deaths have occurred among those age 65 and older. In addition to vaccinating Michiganders aged 75+ in Phase 1B (Phase 1B, Group A), MDHHS is accelerating to vaccinate individuals 65-74 years old (Phase 1C Group A). MDHHS is accelerating implementation of vaccination of individuals 65-74 years due to concern around disparity in life expectancy by race/ethnicity for this group (Phase 1C, Group A).

All counties may begin vaccinating residents over age 65 and seniors are urged to visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine to find local health departments and other local vaccine clinics near them that are ready to book appointments. Eligible essential workers, teachers and childcare workers will be notified by their employers about vaccine clinic dates and locations. Eligible individuals should not go to any of the clinics without an appointment.

It is important to note that there is limited vaccine available in the state, and so there will be limited appointments available. As more vaccine becomes available, the state will be able to move more quickly through the priority groups.

Even with COVID-19 vaccinations starting in Michigan and worldwide, Khaldun urges everyone to continue to practice preventative measures such as properly wearing masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing to reduce the spread of the virus until the vast majority of people have been vaccinated.

There will be no out-of-pocket costs to individuals for the vaccine, however, healthcare providers may bill insurance for administrative costs. The COVID-19 vaccine will require two doses, separated by three or four weeks depending on the manufacturer. Michiganders should receive both doses in order to have full protection from the virus. Individuals who receive the vaccine may experience mild side effects such as low-grade fever, sore arm and general discomfort, which indicate that the vaccine is working. There is a robust state and national process for tracking vaccines and reporting side effects.

Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine. As additional information and resources become available, it will be posted to this site.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will hold a regular meeting at 5 p.m. on Jan. 5 at the Sault Kewadin Casino. Due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the meetings are not open to the public.

Resolutions on the agenda are establish a budget: ACFS DTE Foundation FY2021 Budget, Demawating Development Odenaang Storage FY2021 Budget and SAMHSA Grant STOPR FY2021 Budget; Budget modifications SAMHSA Grant FY2021, MI Tribal Food Access Collaborative FY2021, ACFS Family Violence FY2021, Road to Wellness Grant FY2021, Family Spirit Grant and Third Party Revenue FY2021, Perinatal Opioid Grant FY2021 and Soo Health Center Admin Emergency; Preparedness and Third Party Revenues FY2021; Modifications to Conservation Easement and Utility Right of Way for Donated Methodist; Mission Property; and under Trust Land Status: Taylor Parcel, Phillippe Parcel, John McNaughton's Addition Parcel, W.C. Teter’s Additional Block 2 Lots 7-11 and Selwyn Parcel.

Under New Business is Technical Amendment to Resolution 2020-306, two Key Employee items and Board Concerns.


The project members are assisting in the development of initial response plans to detail how tribal communities can best respond to reports of missing persons

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Federal, State, Local and Tribal leaders jointly announced Michigan’s own Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons pilot project today.

United States Attorneys Andrew Birge and Matthew Schneider were joined by Bryan Newland, President of the Bay Mills Indian Community, Dr. Aaron Payment, Tribal Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Division of the FBI, Col. Joe Gasper, Director of the Michigan State Police, Matthew Saxton, Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association, Robert Stevenson, Executive Director of Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, along with partnering Officials with the United States Marshals Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in making the announcement.

Members of the pilot project began meeting in late October, taking the first steps toward establishing the first tribal community response plans for missing indigenous persons cases. The plans will improve the handling of emergent missing person cases by outlining how Tribal governments, law enforcement, and other partners can best work together to respond to such cases. The plans address four core components of a proper response to a missing persons case: law enforcement, victim services, community outreach and public communications.

“Given that there are 12 Tribal communities in Michigan, and many more Tribal members living throughout the state, we adopted a pilot-program approach to help identify issues and establish initial response plans that can be shared with communities throughout the state,” explained U.S. Attorney Birge. “I am impressed with how federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement as well as Tribal leaders are embracing the effort and progressing in an open and collaborative fashion,” he added. U.S. Attorney Schneider explained that “Everyone recognizes the sensitivity and importance of these cases and realizes that, in Michigan in particular, multiple agencies and jurisdictions must work together.”

“Bay Mills is excited to collaborate with the United States and our fellow tribes on protecting women and vulnerable people in our communities,” said Bryan Newland, President of the Bay Mills Indian Community. “For too long, we have allowed the problem of violence against Indian women and vulnerable people to fester. This initiative will start the healing process and ensure that our people receive the protections they deserve.”

Dr. Aaron Payment, Tribal Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, noted: “In 2016, according to the CDC, homicide was the third leading cause of death for Native women and girls between the ages 1-19 and sixth leading cause of death for ages 20-44. Time is of essence as the first 72 hours after an individual goes missing are the most crucial according to National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. The Sault Tribe and Bay Mills have pioneered capacity building in our respective judicial systems including state certification of tribal law enforcement officers, enhancing our tribal courts, and expanding jurisdiction under the Tribal Law and Order Act and the Violence Against Women Act. We have long had mutual aid law enforcement agreements to ensure there are no holes in coverage and jurisdiction. After 9/11, we worked as a unified team to ensure public safety including comprehensive table-top exercises. I envision our collaboration around MMIP to be a similar critical incident exercise and relationship to deal with what is emerging as an epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous people.”

“The FBI will continue to partner with state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to combat violent crime and create safer communities for the indigenous people in Michigan,” said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “We are prepared to surge investigative capacity, provide specialized skills and training, perform data analysis, or deploy national assets in our effort to provide justice for families mourning a murder victim and assistance to communities searching for a missing friend or neighbor.”

“It is critically important that all law enforcement agencies work closely together,” said Matthew Saxton, Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. “We are fully supportive of agencies assisting each other with whatever capabilities they may have – especially in the event of a reported missing child or adult under suspicious circumstances. This initiative is a great way to help identify and organize the resources and capabilities of our law enforcement agencies and their capabilities throughout the State of Michigan.”

Michigan is among the first of six pilot-program states developing community response plans, in accordance with the U.S. Attorney General’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative and the President’s Operation Lady Justice Task Force. Importantly, these plans likewise further the goals of the recent Savanna’s Act legislation. The other states are Oklahoma, Montana, Minnesota, Alaska and Oregon.

2020-12-18 MMIP Pilot PR

The 2021 tribal newspaper deadline schedule and print dates are now available. Please download and save.

2021 WAN Production Schedule

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY