LRBOI Hazard Mitigation Plan – Final Draft Available For Public Comment
LRBOI Hazard Mitigation Plan

Please send comments to Brand Martin at
[email protected]

Networks Northwest will assist the LRBOI’s Emergency Management Office in creating a new Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan. Brandy Martin, Incident Commander for the Tribal Emergency Response Team, is the primary point of contact for Networks Northwest on this project.

The LRBOI Tribe currently does not have its own hazard mitigation plan. The Tribe had adopted the Manistee County plan in 2007 but that expired in 2012, and they have not had one since. Once the Tribe has a FEMA-approved plan that is then adopted by the Tribal Council, they are eligible to apply for federal hazard mitigation funds. Furthermore, having a plan that, for instance, mentions the importance of cultural assets to protect, will allow them to apply for special funding for FEMA that is set aside for Native American tribes. Instead of having to compete with the counties that their tribal land is located in, they will only have to compete with other tribes in terms of receiving hazard mitigation funding for specific cultural sites

Great Lakes Consent Decree

On August 24, 2023, Judge Maloney, of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, approved and ordered the implementation of the Great Lakes Consent Decree. 

Little River, along with the other Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) Tribes (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, Bay Mills Indian Community and the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians), the state of Michigan and the federal government have been negotiating for more than five (5) years to come to an agreement that ensures the preservation and protection the treaty rights of signatories to the March 28, 1836 Treaty of Washington and the Great Lakes. 

The negotiations have had their ups and downs, but the stipulating parties are proud of the Decree that has been put forward to the Court. The Decree creates more flexibility, provides more opportunity and access, and considers the changes to our Great Lakes over the last 25 years. 

I want to take the opportunity to thank the Natural Resources Department team, including Frank Beaver, Sgt. Robert Robles and Archie Martell have assisted the negotiations team since day one. 

Although the Court has issued an order, the work is not done.

Over the next few months, the CORA Tribes will be working to make updates to the regulations, increasing opportunities for Little River fishers and implementing the new online electronic reporting system. In addition, Little River will be working to increase access to the Treaty waters. 

I will continue to keep you all updated and look forward to announcing the official signing of the Decree. It will be a celebration. With the signing of the Great Lakes Consent Decree, Little River is ensuring treaty rights are sustained for the next seven generations. 

08.23.2023 Ogema Romanelli Update


Proposed Finding Against Acknowledgment of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians (formerly “Grand River Band Ottawa Council”) Petitioner #146.pdf

Ogema Romanelli has requested these be posted to clarify the information that has been discussed regarding the Muskegon Casino Project, please review the following letter from the Department of the Interior.

Executive Order No. 22-1003-01
Twenty-First Update to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: Update to Remote Work Policy


Reaffirmation Day for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is September 21st. So what does ” reaffirmation” mean to us?

This day is essential to our Tribe, our Nation. It means that the Congress of the United States of America recognized and “reaffirmed” that our Nation is many centuries old, predating the United States Government itself. It shows that we were not created in 1994 but had existed for many years before.

Although we are small in numbers, we are no less a sovereign government, not any less than other governments in this world. You can and should be proud to be a member and citizen of this tremendous historic Nation.

As a sovereign nation, we have our Constitution; we are, in fact, a nation within a nation. We should protect our Constitution at all costs. Our Constitution should not be confused with other governments, tribal and non-tribal. Our elected officials are sworn to protect our Constitution and those laws and regulations that follow the Constitution.

Please take this day to remember and respect our great Nation. Enjoy this day. Kichi Miigwetch



Aanii Tribal Members:
I want to give you an update on our Muskegon Casino Project. As you may know, Governor Whitmer has until June 16th to decide. Our project is dead if she says “no” or does nothing. We need a “yes” from her.

This project is not without obstacles and has had them since it started over 12 years ago. The benefits are significant to our Tribe by providing additional revenues and benefits to the members. Jobs, health care, education, and culture, to name a few. It also has benefits for the greater West Michigan area. The Grand River Band’s efforts for Federal recognition and the LRBOI’s Muskegon Casino project are different efforts and should not be tied together.

In recent letters, both the Governor and the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians have posed comments that can affect the outcome of our project.  I want to respond.

Grand River Band (GRB) has been seeking Federal Recognition from the Department of Interior (DOI) for decades. It can take a very long time to do so. They are saying that our project can impact their efforts for recognition; not true. We have never opposed their efforts, and this project has no bearing on their ability to get Federally recognized. Important to note that we have never opposed any other tribe’s effort for a casino and have written letters of support. You can be proud of that.

The Governor is now asking the DOI to give extensions; that is an impossibility. Knowing how the DOI works and its standard operating procedures that won’t be allowed to happen. I believe the GRB’s insertion and assertion that us building a casino would be giving away “their” homelands, and we have no right there, is not entirely accurate. They are our homelands that we are attempting to build on.

We have worked very hard over the years to get to a point where we can start the process. We’ve crossed all the “T”s and dotted all the “l”s.

In effect, if the Governor says no to our project to satisfy the concerns of GRB, then one Federally recognized Tribe, who has a package ready to go will be denied the ability for a casino to satisfy another non-federally recognized tribe that hasn’t even started a casino effort.

I believe much misinformation has been given to the Governor, putting her in an awkward spot. Last year, she was told at a Tribal/ State Summit by a representative of Gun Lake Tribe that GRB was “days away from getting their federal recognition.” I knew that to be false, and as we see, it was incorrect. That was last year in September. Why would a statement like that be made? For what purpose?

Also, within the last year, the Governor’s staff was informed that the Department of Interior had changed its support of our project; we had to get a letter from the DOI stating that they still were in support of Little River Band’s Muskegon Casino project. Again, where do these incorrect statements come from, and why mislead the Governor? There have been other inaccurate statements as well.

As you may know, for years, LRBOI has taken in former GRB members to provide essential services such as healthcare educational benefits, jobs, and per cap, to mention a few.

We have done everything right. The Governor should not let that misinformation put her in an awkward spot; she should sign approval for our project, and we can all wish the best for GRB to eventually get Federal Recognition, which, unfortunately, could still take years.


The Governor’s signature ensures us a casino. We will need to go to the State Legislature to see if they will approve a Class 3 gaming facility or if we build a Class 2 facility- Ogema Romanelli

Future of Muskegon County casino project unclear one month from final deadline

Monday marks the one-month deadline for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to decide whether to approve the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians’ proposed Muskegon County casino. Without the governor’s signature, the project dies. 

Executive Order No. 22-0202-01
Executive Order Creating an Advisory Group to Assist
the Ogema in the Management of the Little River Band of
Ottawa Indians Gaming Enterprise(s)

Executive Order No. 22-0228-01
Twentieth Update to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response:
Update of Current Orders with Update to Public Health Safety Measures

Information Meeting | February 19th, 2022
Video of the event has been posted and can be found under the Government Tab/Executive Menu/Membership Meetings

The meeting has been established for Tribal Citizens only, and we ask that no public media attend or record the meeting in any format.

January 8th, 2022
Video of the event has been posted and can be found under the Government Tab/Executive Menu/Membership Meetings
The meeting has been established for Tribal Citizens only, and we ask that no public media attend or record the meeting in any format.

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Executive Order October 01, 2021
Nineteenth Update to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: Extension of Current Orders with Update to Public Health Safety Measures

Executive Order August 10, 2021
Eighteenth Update to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: Extension of Current Orders with Update to Public Health Safety Measures

Committee and Commission Vacancies
The Tribal Ogema continues to seek applications from Citizens interested in serving on the Gaming, Housing, Binojeeuk, Enrollment, Health, Natural Resources Commission, and Biskaabiiyang and Elders Committees. Citizens interested in serving on a commission/committee are invited to submit a commission application along with a letter of interest. The Binojeeuk and Gaming Commission requires a background check. Please visit the LRBOI Committee and Commissions page for a list of Commissions/Committees,  vacancies, and seat terms.

For more information and an application please contact;

Mary Thomas | LRBOI Chief of Staff