In 2000, the Council began to discuss purchasing land to build a Tribal complex. Since we are a small Tribe which only receives a few annual donations with most of our financial viability originating from membership dues, there were immediate concerns about how we would be able to make such a purchase. At this point, the need to purchase land was pushed further down the priority list.
In March 2002, several parcels of land on all sides of our Tribal seat became eligible for purchase. With so much impending land development, it became a crucial time for CIED to purchase a parcel of 41 acres of land that was within 1/4 mile of the Tribal seat for $155,000. Due to the land’s location, we knew the land would need to be purchased quickly and a meeting was held to determine how we could obtain the land. It was decided that we would close our scholarship fund and certificate of deposit, then consolidate the funds into our current savings account. Finally, we asked members for donations to pay for upfront costs and pledges toward the monthly payment.
In April 2002, we were able to secure approximately $33,000 toward the down payment and closing costs by drawing from existing monetary accounts, donations, and pledges. The land purchase was finalized in the same month and we began payment on the remainder of the purchase via a 10-year $121,000 loan.
In the beginning, land payment pledges were coming in at a constant rate and the Council was confident that we would not have a problem making the monthly payment, but by October, pledges from members began to decrease. For several months, we had to dip into our savings to make up the difference.
In March 2003, an article was written in the Daily Press discussing our land payment problem and we began to receive calls of support and donations from around the country. A follow-up article was written in the same newspaper in October and more donations began coming.
In May 2008, we made our last mortgage payment. Thanks to everyone who donated their hard earned money, we were able to pay off our 10 year note in 6 years.
In August 2008, we began construction of our Tribal complex and it continues today. We still have not lost sight of additional goals that we have set for the land such as a covered pavilion with log posts, Pow Wow grounds, and an authentic Algonquin village and garden. The village and garden will serve as a teaching tool for the general public.