Here at the Tribal Government offices, we are working hard to keep services going to the membership. I can’t say that it hasn’t been an unusual time, but we continue to operate. Several departments continue to grow even during this pandemic. Our Clinic, Food Distribution, Family Services, and Public Safety Department all continue to grow while extra pressures have been put on them. I thank the Tribal Courts who have had to work remotely in most instances but keep up with the extra caseloads. Our Accounting Department has had much more work to do with putting out extra checks, while making the necessary financial changes. Our Grants Department (of one employee), Lyle Dorr, with other staff have been finding as much COVID-19 funding as possible. Also the safety measures that have been put in place during this time by a team of people, mostly lead by Brandy Martin, is greatly appreciated. Finally the staff of the Little River Casino Resort and Hotel, the Trading Post C-Store and other enterprises, like the EDC continue to work very hard.
Our government and enterprises continue to work at less than full capacity, although the work does not seem less. Our budget for this year is still on track for being greatly reduced, as a result of the Casino operating at about 50% capacity. As most of you know, we’ve already had to make some very difficult decisions for reductions in staffing and services. When the annual budget is cut in half, there are little choices. If things improve, we may be able to bring some people and services back.
We’ve begun working on next year’s 2021 budget with smaller numbers than usual, but we are still optimistic that the pandemic will improve and the economy will pick up. It is still anyone’s guess as to the outcome at this point. The concerning part is that if we continue on at this rate, things could get tougher; let’s pray for a better 2021.
I continue to give praises to the hardworking staff at both the Government and the various enterprises for keeping the Tribe going. I thank you for your patience during this time and hope you are doing well.
Miigwetch and take care