Red Lake Accounting Department

"Our purpose is to be a valued function of the Tribe for accounting and financial services; to provide accurate recordkeeping and to protect our assets of the Red Lake Nation and build for our future."

The Red Lake Accounting Department has 46 employees that serve the Red Lake Band’s Tribal government. The Accounting Department includes the following: Administration, Grant and Contracts (Staff Accountants), Payroll, Accounts Payable/Receivable, Internal Audit, Revenue Department (Third-Party Billing) and Information Technology.

The Red Lake Nation’s numerous programs are funded from a wide variety of sources and a sizable portion of the Red Lake Band’s funding comes from Federal and State government agencies, private and public foundations, other tribal nations, and other sources. Each of these funding sources comes with compliance and reporting regulations that are adhered to under standard accounting reporting practices. The standard yearly audit of the Red Lake Band’s financial records, have consistently received clean audits with no significant findings for the past several years. The Accounting Department holds to a high standard as we maintain complete and accurate records of the Band’s finances and assets.

The 2021 Financial Report has been distributed by mail to the Red Lake Band’s Membership. Please call 218-679-3341 for more information.

Treasurer’s Office

The financial matters of the tribe are varied and many. Listed on this page is information for the general membership.

Burial Allowance and Funeral Home Fund

A burial allowance is provided for enrolled members only.
The Tribe also offers Burial allowance in the amount of $300.00 that is made payable to next of kin or person designated by next of kin and must contact the Tribal Enrollment Department at 218-679-3341.

On-Reservation Funeral Services:
The amount forwarded to the Funeral Home of choice is $3400.00, and a $100 purchase order for Red Lake Trading Post or the Ponemah Market is also issued at this time, or the full amount of $3,500 can be sent to funeral home.

Please contact Supportive Service at Oshkiimahjiitaadah (New Beginnings) at 679-3350 to apply for this assistance for all enrolled tribal members.

Off-Reservation funeral services:
The amount forwarded to the Funeral Home of choice is $3,500.00. Contact Oshkiimahjiitaadah at the number listed above.

Fish and wild rice:
A standard 11 pound box of 4-6 ounce walleye (skin-on) and five (5) pounds of wild rice is also provided. A current certificate of enrollment of the deceased is required at the Red Lake Fisheries and Red Lake Nation Foods to pick these items up. Certificates of Enrollment can be obtained at the Enrollment Office.

Donation Committee

The Donation Committee is comprised of four individuals representing each of the four districts. The primary focus of the Donation Fund is “our youth” and “our elders”. The committee is directed by resolution to support activities that enrich and support the youth and elders of the Red Lake Band.

The Donation deadline is the last day of the month. All requests must be in writing and include supporting documentation such as: rosters, sales quotes, vendor information and contact information. Vendor information must be included as checks are not made out to individuals. Event requests must be submitted the month BEFORE the event. Event requests must also include a budget.

If you have any questions and requests they can be forwarded to Nicole Spears at (218) 679-1344, or emailed to

Director of Finance

Grant and Contracts
The Grants and Program Accountants primary function is to assist the Tribal Program Directors with expenditure reporting and compliance. Every funding source whether is if from a federal /state government agency or any other entity comes with reporting guidelines and compliance requirements that must be followed, and the work of the accountants is determined by the funding source. The Accountants also assist with budget development, facilitate draw down from funding sources, review and provide financial analysis, and other budgetary related matters.


Fixed Assets tracks and maintains records for all purchases of $5000 or greater, and maintains the insurance schedules of all insurable assets held by the Tribe and the Tribal programs. This includes but not limited to buildings, equipment, vehicles and infrastructure, this office also maintains the cellular service account for the Band. These records are audited on a yearly basis as with other financial records. Property and supply tags tribal property and maintain the GSA vehicles used by the Tribe, and oversees the disposal or selling of any tribal property.

Accounts Payable

The Accounts Payable department processes more than 50,000 checks per year, including the yearly Trust Fund distribution. A purchase order is the document that generates a check. Purchase orders are processed at an average rate of over 100 per day. The process includes checking for supporting documents such as invoices or quotes, coding each purchase order to the correct program fund, and are recorded and filed according to standard accounting procedures.

Check processing:
The on-going process requires that all Program Directors, or their authorized representative, drop off all check requests and pick up the requested checks. Please inform your staff, vendors and contractors that there is a three (3) to five (5) business day processing period for checks from Accounts Payable. All phone calls or inquiries regarding checks from a program will be directed to the director of the program in question.

The Red Lake Nation employs nearly a thousand employees, both full and part time. The Payroll Department processes payroll for employees on both a weekly and bi-weekly schedule.

All bi-weekly timesheets are due in the Payroll Department at 4:00 PM on the Friday before the regular payroll date. Weekend workers must still submit timesheets on Mondays as soon as possible. Week 1 of the Weekly timesheets are due on Mondays; the Week 2 of the weekly payroll is due with the regular Bi-weekly schedule.

Early check requests:
All early check requests requiring a signature can be left in the “Early Check Box” located at the Payroll Department window. Please be advised that an early payroll check will be processed depending on the availability of Payroll Technicians. Please note that early checks are not available to those on the weekly schedule.

Internal Audit performs two separate types of audit based on 542 Class III and 543 Class II. Class III audit includes, Gaming Machines; Table Games; Cage and Credit; Drop and Count; Cage and Credit; Information Technology; and Complimentary Items or Services.

Class II includes Bingo; Pull Tabs; Card Games; Gaming Promotions and Player Tracking; Complimentary Services or Items; Drop and Count; Cage, Vault, Cash, and Cash equivalents; Information Technology; and Accounting Standards. Internal Audit reports directly to the Tribal Treasurer’s Office.

Internal Audit documentation such as checklists, programs, reports, etc. is prepared to evidence all internal audit work and follow-up performed as it relates to compliance with TICS (Tribal Internal Control System); SICS (System of Internal Control Standards); and MICS (Minimum Internal Control Standards). Audit reports are maintained and made available to the NIGC (National Indian Gaming Commission, established by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U. S. C. 2701 et seq) upon request. Internal Audit findings are reported to management, responded to by management stating corrective measures to be taken regarding all instances of non-compliance and included in the report delivered to management, Red Lake Gaming Board and Red Lake Gaming Commission. Follow-up observations and examinations are performed to verify that corrective action has been taken regarding all instances of non-compliance. The verification is performed within four months following the date of notification of non-compliance.

The Red Lake Gaming Board approves the final report. The report includes the following information: Audit objectives; audit procedures and scope; findings and conclusions; recommendations; management response; follow-up. All material exceptions identified by internal audit work is investigated and resolved. We also perform other audits of individual gaming department upon request.

Information Technology

The I.T. Department is responsible for providing strategic technical vision, technical resources and timely support to The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. Our goal is to deliver these services as efficiently and securely as possible.

Staff Directory

Treasurer’s Office
Vernelle Lussier, Treasurer

Nicole Spears, Executive Assistant

Eva Kingbird, Admin Assistant

Accounting Supervisor
Arlys Stillday, Accounting Supervisor

Jennifer May, Lead Grant Accountant

Maxine Charwood, Financial Controller

Brandon Raincloud, Grant Accountant

Jolene Strong, Grant Accountant

Ashlyn Lyons, Grant Accountant

Cody Charwood, Self-Governance Grant Accountant

Nikki Headbird, Staff Accountant

Carol Adnan, Staff Accountant

Accounts Receivable
Evelyn McKenzie, Accounting Technician

Laura Barron, Grants and Contracts Specialist

Fixed Assets/Property & Supply
Nicole Johns, Special Project Technician

Glendoris Johnson, Property and Supply Technician

Accounts Payable
Mariah Hanks, Accounts Payable Specialist

June Holstein, Accounts Payable Specialist

Melanie Branchaud, Accounts Payable Specialist

Natasha Spears, Accounts Payable Specialist

Maureen Lyons, Accounts Payable Specialist

Eileen Johnson, File Clerk
Rochelle Kingbird, Payroll Technician

Tonya Lussier, Payroll Technician

Sean Donnell, Payroll Technician

Internal Audit
Dezi Head, Auditor

Connie Neadeau, Auditor

Revenue Department
Charlene Anderson, Supervisor

Brooke Neadeau, Billing Specialist

Justina Martin, Billing Specialist

MIS/Information Technology

Deb Harmon, Director

Karla Pankow, Office Manager

Mariah Martin, Help Desk Technician

Rexford Strong Jr., Senior Installer

Casey Norden, Applications Engineer

Hieu Nguyen, Technology Integrationist

George Branchaud, PC Technician

David Cloud, PC Technician

David May, PC Technician

Tyrone May, Fiber Specialist

Justin Auginash, General Laborer

William Cloud, General Laborer

Archiving Department
Barb Pemberton, Document Manager

Randy Stillday, Archiving Technician

Nicholas Brown, Archiving Technician

Rhianna Cloud, Archiving Technician


Vernelle R. Lussier
Tribal Treasurer

Contact Information

Red Lake Accounting Department
15484 Migizi Drive
PO Box 574
Red Lake, MN 56671

218-679-4102 (Fax)