Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $309,007)
The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, located adjacent to Cloquet, Minnesota (20-miles south of Duluth, MN) will provide access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs through a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services. The Band will provide assistance to effective counsel for tribal members through the hiring of a Public Defender. The Public Defender will be dedicated to representing Band Members in civil and criminal matters in state and Tribal Court. The attorney will be available to meet with clients at the beginning of a new matter, and work with individuals through the completion of their legal matter. The Band will also supplement self-help efforts in the court and expand the services available to address the increasing demand created by self-represented litigants by hiring a Court Navigator. This person will support court operations and enhance court efficiency by supporting and assisting unrepresented litigants navigating the Tribal Court. They will provide moral support to litigants, help access and complete forms and aid in accessing other services. The Fond du Lac Band consists of 4,000+ Band Members. Half of the membership live within the boundaries of the reservation. A large majority of the remaining live the urban areas of Cloquet, Duluth and the Twin Cities Metro in Minnesota.