Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch, also called the Band Assembly, is made up of three District Representatives and the Secretary-Treasurer, who is also the Speaker of the Band Assembly. The Legislative Branch passes laws, allocates revenue, ratifies appointments of commissioners and oversees the Office of Management and Budget. Band Assembly meets regularly at rotating locations around the districts.

Legislative News

Secretary/Treasurer seeks candidates for GRA Board

Secretary/Treasurer Sheldon Boyd has informed Band members of an opening on the Gaming Regulatory Authority (GRA) Board and is seeking Band members who are seeking to serve on the Board.

Interested candidates should email Legislative Director Brianna Boyd at brianna.boyd@millelacsband.com no later than Friday, August 14, 2020.

Click here for Secretary/Treasurer Boyd's letter.

Band Assembly reviews proposed amendments to Title 12 and Title 21

The Mille Lacs Band Assembly sent a letter to Band members July 20 to give notice that the Assembly is reviewing proposed legislation to amend Title 12 and Title 21 to define rights of parties and procedures in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, including for dwellings obtained under the Native American Veteran Direct Loan Program, and to divert all real and personal property cases to the Court of Central Jurisdiction.

The letter and proposed changes can be read at https://millelacsband.com/news/band-assembly-reviews-proposed-amendments-to-titles-12-and-21.

Band Assembly reviews legislation to create a Leasing of Trust Lands Code

The Mille Lacs Band Assembly is current reviewing proposed legislation to create Leasing of Trust Lands Code that will implement the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership ("HEARTH") Act. An entire draft of the proposed changes can be found here: leasing-of-trust-lands-hearth-proposed-statute-07.30.2020

The letter to Mille Lacs Band members explaining the proposed changes can be found here: band-assembly-letter-re-hearth-act-07.30.2020

District I Representative establishes child protection subcommittee

District I Representative Sandi Blake is establishing a subcommittee charged with developing proposed revisions to Title 8, Chapter 13 (Child Protection). On June 10, 2020, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Band Assembly approved Legislative Order 28-20, which establishes a process for draft legislation and empowers any District Representative to formulate a subcommittee consisting of "Band members and employees who have direct knowledge of the subject matter of the draft legislation."

Click here for Representative Blake's announcement.

Secretary/Treasurer Updates Band Members on Legislative Branch Activities

Secretary/Treasurer Sheldon Boyd informs Band members that the Band Assembly is currently working on draft legislation pertaining to several statutes. For details, click here.

Band Assembly Establishes Procedures for Drafting Legislation

On June 10, by a vote of 3-0, the Mille Lacs Band Assembly approved Legislative Order 28-20: A Legislative Order Establishing Guidelines and Procedures for Drafting Legislation.

General Election rescheduled for August 18

On March 26, the MCT released a Revised Election Calendar. Click here to view the calendar.

Absentee Ballot Request Form — Word Version

Absentee Ballot Request Form — PDF Version


Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin signed an Executive Order today, Sunday, March 15, declaring that the Band is in a State of Emergency, while the Band Assembly— composed of Secretary/Treasurer Sheldon Body and District Representatives Sandra Blake, Marvin Bruneau, and Wally St. John — passed Ordinance 27-20, The Emergency Management Act, establishing Title 27 within the Mille Lacs Band Statutes Annotated. Title 27, which will be titled Emergency Management, gives the Chief Executive authority to carry out certain emergency measures necessary to ensure the health and well-being of Band Members.

Please click here for a letter to Band members from Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin and Secretary/Treasurer Sheldon Boyd.

For ongoing updates, please see millelacsband.com/services/covid-19-information.

Proposed Amendments to Titles 1 and 5

Title 27 — Open Meetings and Data Security Act — Second Draft

Sheldon Boyd


Sheldon Boyd was elected Secretary-Treasurer in 2018. In this role he is the leader of the Legislative Branch that has the authority to enact laws that regulate the Band’s affairs, appropriate funding for Band programs and services, and serves as Speaker of the Mille Lacs Band Assembly. His priorities include transparency and inclusion of Band members in the legislative process.

Most recently he was the IT manager for the Band’s Department of Health and Human Services. He formerly served the Band as Commissioner of Administration, who is the chief of staff to the Chief Executive. He considers his Ojibwe culture and spirituality the most defining parts of his life, and since 1985 he has been a drum member, serving as a pipe carrier.

The son of the late Grace and Raining Boyd, Sheldon split his childhood between the Mille Lacs Reservation and Minneapolis, graduated from Minneapolis South High School and Northwestern Electronics, and attended the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has four children and four grandchildren who inspire him to make decisions that consider the coming generations. He also is a health and fitness enthusiast who enjoys running.

Sandra L. Blake

District I Representative

Band member Sandra Blake was born and raised on the Mille Lacs Reservation, where she and her husband raised their three children.

Blake has a bachelor’s degree in organizational development from the College of St. Scholastica and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education. Blake was elected Mille Lacs Band District I Representative in 2008 and again in 2012; she previously served as District I Representative from 2000-2004.

Blake most recently served as executive director of education for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She has also held numerous positions within the Minnesota Historical Society at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum, as well as other positions with the Mille Lacs Band.

Marvin Ray Bruneau

District II Representative

Marvin Bruneau is a lifelong resident of District II on the Mille Lacs Reservation.  He is the father of three daughters, Erin, Amanda, and Amber. He graduated from McGregor High School and attended the College of St. Scholastica.

Bruneau served as the Mille Lacs Band’s District II Representative from 1990 to 2014, and was re-elected in 2018. He has also served the Band as a member of the Housing Authority Board of Directors, a Community Health Representative, and a Drum Society member. In addition, Bruneau has been an Emergency Medical Technician and a factory worker in the McGregor area.

He enjoys fishing, reading, and spending time with his family. He looks forward to coming back to serve as a member of Band Assembly and making positive changes for the tribe.

Wallace St. John Sr.

District III Representative

Wallace St. John Sr. was elected District III Representative in 2018. He has worked for the Mille Lacs Band government and resided in District III of the Mille Lacs Reservation since 1999. District III includes the Aazhoomog (Lake Lena) community near the St. Croix River east of Hinckley, as well as a large community of Band members living in Hinckley.

Most recently, St. John worked in land maintenance and wildland for the Band’s Department of Natural Resources for seven years. Previously he held housing and public works positions for the Band, at Black Bear Casino as a blackjack dealer and shift supervisor, and in public works for the Fond du Lac Band. His volunteer service includes 10 years on the Nay Ah Shing School Board and 11 years on the Mille Lacs Band Boxing Commission.

St. John is the proud father of six children and twelve grandchildren. He is a graduate of Flandreau Indian School, where he was active in student government. He intends to integrate the Ojibwe cultural values of peace, harmony and balance with nature into his work for the community.

Legislative Departments

Office of Management and Budget

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) strives to serve all Mille Lacs Band Members and Government Associates in a professional, courteous manner. Our goal is to provide accurate, efficient financial services while respecting our customers and co-workers, always with an emphasis on teamwork.

The Office of Management and Budget is led by the Commissioner of Finance. The Commissioner of Finance position is currently vacant.

For more on OMB, click here.

Department of Motor Vehicles

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which registers vehicles, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles, and trailers.


Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Lunch Breaks: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. (M-F)


There is a 5% Mille Lacs Band Tax, on the purchase price of the vehicle, before transferring or purchasing Band Plates.

Mille Lacs Band Plates are only dispersed to Band Members that reside within the boundaries of the Mille Lacs Reservation and Service Areas, or for Governmental Departments.

Mille Lacs Band License Plates are to remain with the Band Member or Department (if the vehicle is sold or transferred) the license plate will become null and void if you relocate out of the boundaries of the Mille Lacs Reservation or Service Areas.

Personalized plate fee $50.00

Any questions you contact Deanna Sam at 320-532-7498.

Fax number is: 320-532-7805

Email: mlb.dmv@millelacsband.com

Legislative Staff

Brianna Boyd
Legislative Affairs Director

Valerie Harrington
Chief Communications Officer

Adam Candler
Legislative Counsel

Semira Kimpson
Legislative Office Coordinator

Darcie BigBear
Parliamentarian/Clerk of the Assembly

Deanna Sam
Deputy Registrar

Billie Jo Boyd
District I Administrative Assistant

Hanna Valento
Legislative Staff Attorney

Kiana Morrison
Assistant Band Assembly Clerk

Contact Information

Mille Lacs Band Government Center
43408, Oodena Drive
Onamia, MN 56359
Phone: 320-532-4181

District I (Mille Lacs) Community Center
43500 Virgo Road
Onamia, MN 56359
Phone: 320-532-4181
Fax: 320-532-7581

District IIA (Isle) Community Center
2605 Chiminising Drive
Isle, MN 56342
Phone: 320-676-1102
Fax: 320-676-3432

District II (East Lake) Community Center
HCR 2, Box 58
McGregor, MN 55760
Phone: 218-768-3311
Fax: 218-768-3903

District III Aazhoomog Community Center
45749 Grace Lake Road
Sandstone, MN 55072
Phone: 320-384-6240
Fax: 320-384-6190

Band Statutes

2020 Election Dates