Published November 6, 2017
RED LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION – Mike LeGarde, producer/director for Native Report, a weekly program broadcast state-wide…and nationally was in Red Lake for interviews for the second time in a week on Tuesday, October 31, 2017. The program is produced at WDSE Public Television in Duluth.
LeGarde interviewed persons regarding the Public Health Emergency regarding the opioid epidemic, Red Lake’s innovative solar energy project, and a book on the teachings of Larry Stillday, now passed.
First LeGarde interviewed Reyna Lussier, Interim Project Director at Red Lake Chemical Health. Lussier outlined issues regarding the Public Health Emergency concerning the opioid crisis. She also gave a summary of the services Chemical Health provides in prevention and treatment for those suffering from alcohol and all manners of drug abuse.
LeGarde had previously interviewed Red Lake Chairman Darrell G. Seki, Sr., and Red Lake Director of Public Safety, Bill Brunelle, about a week ago, regarding the Tribal Council’s Public Health Emergency resolution passed in July.
“Here Comes the Sun” – Red Lake’s Solar Energy Project Initiative
“The world may yet realize the ancient American Indian environmental ethic. This is important, it begins with us, and we must share this ethic. The overall philosophy is to re-connect all people to nature and inevitably to themselves.” ~Gichi-Ma’iingan, ROAD TO PONEMAH: The Teachings of Larry Stillday.
Native Report’s LeGarde would now interview Eugene “Bugger” McArthur, Jobs & Community Development Facilitator for Red Lake Nation about Red Lake’s Three-Phase Solar Energy Project initiative.
“The solar power plan is divided into three phases,” McArthur began, “with the first addressing the process of adding equipment to the Tribe’s largest buildings. When they’re done, the panels will generate enough power to light every bulb in the tribe’s three casinos, the tribal college and all government buildings.”
McArthur said the development of the planned solar energy projects, displays the Red Lake Nation’s commitment to:
• Preservation & conservation of our environment;
• Providing an energy source which is compatible with our Tribal beliefs of living in harmony with nature;
• Improving the quality of life, training for our labor force, & employment, jobs for our People;
• The development of cost savings in the operation of our facilities & providing a steady source of revenue;
• The diversification of our economy & investments;
• Providing a clean, renewable source of energy for our People;
McArthur says the project will save the tribe roughly $2 million a year in energy costs. “The use of outside power has chaffed the Red Lake Nation for some time relying entirely on electricity generated outside their borders by means they believe are harmful to the earth.”
“Phase II will be the development of solar energy farms on ceded lands of 40 to 100 acres of solar panels providing 10–20 MW of electricity to be sold to the grid,” McArthur said. “Thus, producing a steady revenue stream for years to come for the Tribe.”
“Phase III will be the development of a solar energy plant that will produce solar equipment for the industry, while providing jobs assembling solar panels for the members of Red Lake Nation,” McArthur said.
“Renewable energy harnesses the natural forces of life, of nature, which provides the foundation for who we are as Native People,” concluded McArthur. “At the end of the day, our language, our songs, our cultural traditions are all based on the great gift of heat and light from Gimishoomisinaan Giizis (Grandfather Sun) and the many gifts of Gimaamaanaan Aki (Mother Earth). And as we move forward, we strive to utilize the many blessings from nature, with the utmost respect and adherence to the processes which preserve and conserve these precious gifts.”
Finally, LeGarde interviewed author and journalist Michael Meuers who spoke of his recent book, ROAD TO PONEMAH: The Teachings of Larry Stillday. The book is a collection of the words, stories, and teachings of Red Lake Spiritual Leader and healer, now passed, Gichi-Ma’iingan (Stillday) of Obaashiing.
The programs filmed at Red Lake are for Native Report’s 2018 season. The shows will air sometime between January and April 2018. Native Report will keep us informed when dates and times are scheduled.
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