Planning and Economic Development

The Red Lake Economic Development & Planning Department works to establish economic growth and promote positive community development for the Red Lake Nation.

What is Community Planning?
Planning involves bringing the community and technical resources together to create infrastructure that the community can be proud of.

What is Economic Development?
Economic development in Red Lake constitutes creating a local economy through fostering business for the Tribe and individual entrepreneurs.

The Department of Economic Development and Planning provides a multitude of services, including:
Land Use and Regional Planning
Community Education and Outreach
Small Business and Entrepreneurial Development
Grant Writing and Implementation
Community Development
Language and Culture Revitalization

Completed Projects:
Red Lake Skatepark
Ponemah Boys and Girls Club
Land Use & Transportation Plan
Non-Motorized Transportation Plan
Little Rock Community Center

Current Projects:
Redby Community Center
Constitution Reform Initiative (CRI)
Ojibwe Language Revitalization Initiative
Local Food Initiative
Art Initiative

Entrepreneur Program

Contact Information:

Red Lake Economic Development & Planning Department P.O. Box 587
Red Lake, MN, 56671
Fax: 218-679-1453


Samuel Strong

Sharon James
Small Business Development Manager

Cherilyn Spears
Project Coordinator

Donovan Sather
Lead Planner

Tom Cain
CRI Coordinator

Red Lake Nation - Entrepreneur Program


To create an entrepreneurial environment that will successfully attract, develop and support Band member owned businesses by providing business education, technical assistance, financing, and commercial facilities.


  1. To incorporate the development of a strong private sector into the Red Lake Nation’s strategic plans for a strong economic base.
  2. To provide Red Lake Band members with applicable tools and resources necessary to achieve a successful and financially viable business, thus providing them the opportunity for personal self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life.
  3. To establish an effective Native CDFI with a self-sustaining revolving loan fund.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Currently enrolled with the Red Lake Nation
  • 21-years of age or older
  • Business is a for-profit entity (start-up, acquisition or expansion)
  • Band member having 60 percent or more ownership of the business
  • Band member actively manages the business
  • Business is located on the Red Lake Nation Reservation (for our financing)

Services Provided

To incorporate the best methods and techniques to address the needs Red Lake entrepreneurs, the following services are provided:

Technical Assistance

  • Business Plan Development
  • Financial Management
  • Marketing
  • Business Management


  • 9-Week NDN Entrepreneur Class (required for financing)
  • One-On-One Coaching


  • Entrepreneur Program Loan Fund
  • Maximum loan amount determined by amount of loan funds and leveraging capability
  • 4 Percent interest rate (can fluctuate based on economic conditions and loan funds)
  • Term of the loan will be based on life of collateral provided and capability of the business
  • Provide a minimum of 25 percent of Total Project Costs
  • Assistance in finding additional needed financing

Contact Information

Red Lake Nation Entrepreneur Program
Economic Development & Planning Department

P.O. Box 587
Red Lake, MN 56671
Fax: 218-679-1453

Sharon James
Small Business Development Manager

Sarah Lussier
Small Business Developer
Office: 218-679-1458

Government contracting can provide a leg-up to small businesses that need to meet their bottom line and become sustainable. Government contracting is a win-win opportunity - the Federal government gets to work with innovative, forward-thinking companies, and small firms get tapped into the supply chain of one of the largest buyers in the world.

Meet Your Local Entrepreneurs!

"Buy Local - Buy Indian"

The Red Lake Nation Entrepreneur Program is dedicated to assisting Entrepreneurs on their business path.

We invite you to meet the entrepreneurs we have assisted. They are not only providing products and services but they also create jobs for our community.

Please help support these small businesses and their contributions to the growth of the Red Lake Nation economy.

Martin's Helping Hands

Plowing, Mowing & Towing Services
Charles Martin, Sr. and Family

Towing: Dolly Towning, Lockout Service, Battery Jumps and Flat Tire Assistance
Plowing: Commercial & Residential
Mowing: Commercial & Residential

Martin's Helping Hands is located within the boundaries of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians reservation and provides services within a 100 mile radius of Red Lake.

Either of the following numbers will put you in contact with one of their helping hands:

Native Style Embroidery & Art

Embroidery: T-shirts, Patches, Sweatshirts, Pants, Caps, Jackets, Household Linen, Towels, Jerseys, Drum Covers, and more...

Screen Printing: T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Pants, Caps, Household Linen, Towels, Jerseys, Jackets, and more...

Authentic Native Art: Beadwork, Quillwork, Regalia, Birchbark Items, Paintings, Greeting Cards, and more...

Native Style Embroidery & Art is a unique shop which offers a variety of embroidery, screen printing, and authentic native art. Native Style Embroidery opened their doors on March 25, 2013 and is located west of the Red Lake Tribal Council building.

Quantities of 1 or more - Individual gift items or bulk purchases are available.

NSEA works with ANY design! They can customize designs for you or you can design your own. Your design possibilities are limitless! To view NSEA's brochure, please click on "Native Style Embroidery & Art" at the bottom of this page.

Give them a call or stop in today!

Contact Information:
Juliet White
15533 Main Street, Red Lake
Fax: 218-679-4358

Monday - Friday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
(Special appointments available)

Wesley May Arts

Wesley May Arts offers a variety of paintings, prints, postcards, wearable art (clothing), and murals; and also offers custom art designed to your specifications.

In addition, Wesley hosts "Healing thru Art" workshops along with Live Exhibition Paintings!

Visit his web-site and "Like" him on Facebook to get more information!

Visit our website:

COMING SOON!! Wesley May Art business site in Red Lake

C's Daycare

C's Daycare, a childcare facility located in Red Lake. West of the Red Lake Trading Post on Hwy 1.

Child age range: 6 weeks - 12-years-old
Hours of operation: 7am - 6pm


Apply today! Space is limited so please call in advance.

Ojibwe Language Preservation

The Red Lake Economic Development and Planning Department is partnering with other departments on various Ojibwe Language Preservation initiatives. Among those are the following:

Red Lake Immersion School Initiative

We are in the planning phase of this program. For school year 2013-2014, we will be collaborating with the Red Lake Nation College, the Red Lake Head Start, and the Red Lake School District to develop an immersion school program with a projected open date of school year 2014-2015. This program will begin with one three-year-old head start classroom, and grow by adding one classroom each year of operation. Curriculum will be developed for this program that is unique to Red Lake dialect and culture.

Summer and Family Camps

The Economic Development and Planning Department partnered with Chemical Health in August 2013 to hold an Ojibwe Language and Culture Camp. This event was a success serving more than 30 children and family members. Activities included the following: cultural teachings, Ojibwe language lessons, canoeing, lacrosse, moccasin game, indigenous food demonstration, nature walks, among many more. This camp will be an annual event occurring at least once a year.

Ojibwe Language Revitalization Summit

The Economic Development and Planning Department is spearheading an initiative to complete a collaborative plan to move forward with Ojibwe language revitalization in Red Lake. This plan will be carried out in the following ways: utilizing past work completed on language revitalization, incorporating current work being completed on language revitalization, and involving all interested community members. This Ojibwe Language Revitalization Summit will be held during the late fall/early winter of 2013.