**Updated: 05.11.20 LRBOI Government Offices Closed & Covid19 Response



I would like to give you an update on the situation with the pandemic and our Tribe.

First, again, I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation during these difficult times.

I would like to thank the residents of Aki for their continued support and cooperation during the “Stay at Home” order. As you know, this has been extended to May 15th by our Governor and we have decided to follow her lead. I know it can be difficult, but this extra two weeks should make us much safer in the long run.

If you are following the news, there are efforts on the State and National levels to “re-open” our Country.  Restrictions are easing and contrary to some recent FB posts on other sites, we have been working diligently on a plan to reopen both our Tribal Government and our Resort on a partial basis. Safety precautions are being put in place for the protection of everyone.

Also, many of us have been in constant contact with a large variety of Federal, State and Tribal agencies since this pandemic hit. A great deal of work has been done to protect this Tribe, its members and its assets.

The Resort management is doing a great job of maintaining the property but also in making necessary changes to the eventual reopening. I have been in constant contact and we have worked together to ensure the best possible outcome. We are getting closer to that time. There is no perfect time to open; some will think it is too soon, some will think it should’ve opened sooner, it’s just the way it is.  Just know we have taken the time to review every possible option.

Thank you for your time to read this, and please, just a little more patience, stay safe, and we are over the hump. We will be back functioning again in the near future. Miigwetch!


It is now Sunday morning after the Saturday Spring Membership Meeting.  I want to start by apologizing for the technical difficulties during the meeting. There were several reports that the viewers were unable to hear some of the reports. For example Natural Resource Director, Frank Beaver’s report was very clear to those of us in the Lodge Room, but apparently not to viewers. I’ve asked for those reports to be written and posted on the LRBOI website and FB page.
*updates will be posted on the Rapid River News page found under the News tab of the LRBOI Website: login required.

There are a couple of members saying they did not get their questions answered. One person said she emailed all Tribal Council and the Ogema; I did not receive any emailed question from this person. My email is larryromanelli@lrboi-nsn.gov. , the person may have had the wrong email address. I believe at least two Tribal Councilors that they didn’t receive the email either. At the end of the meeting I asked if there were any questions and I was told by the IT Director that there was only one, which was answered.

Since the meeting, I hear there are questions about the “$500” payments, those are voted on by the Tribal Council. The Ogema can give an opinion, but the council actually votes on the payments. As the first $500 payment was being considered, there was also another payment that was asked for that would’ve given each Tribal Member $5000.  I stated that I felt given the financial situation, that should not even be considered and eventually it was disregarded. Each elected official has the ability and responsibility to look at the financials of the Tribe. While the two options were being considered, the discussion talked of “all Tribal Members” but excluded the children. I made the statement that how could they say the payment was for all Tribal Members while excluding the child  members of the Tribe? They agreed that it would be considered during discussion of the next payment which was done last week.

Tribes do not qualify for much of the Federal and State reimbursement dollars that are being given. There is some money coming but we do not know how much at this time, but we, along with other tribes are continually watching.

Another topic that came up after the meeting was the fact that I decided to read the financial report and didn’t give all the numbers, That is correct. The reason I decided to shorten the financial report was that ability to watch the meeting was compromised and people other than Tribal Members had the ability to see the report. Our financial information does not need to be viewed by people outside the Tribe. It was also posted on YouTube.  I would ask the former council person who posted his concerns about the shortened report, bring his concerns to the next Tribal Council Meeting so we can discuss further.

Again, it is the ability and responsibility of the elected officials to protect the Tribal Members, the Tribe and its assets.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I try and answer every question posed to me; I may not give the answer the person wants to hear, but they get an answer.

One of my frustrations is when members are posting on the various  FB sites, those current and former Tribal Councilors who know the truth or answers, do not correct the incorrect postings and at times encourage the negative and incorrect postings. I am suggesting that anyone who still has questions, please call into the Tribal Council Meeting next Wednesday, April 29th  it starts at 10AM. I will be on the meeting call with the tribal council. I believe the chance of getting the correct answer is much greater at a meeting with all sides together, than on a FB  page.