Legislative Branch

Overview

The Legislative Branch is made up of the Band Assembly — comprised of three District Representatives and the Speaker of the Assembly. Click here to view the legislative branch's organization chart.

Band Assembly passes laws, allocates revenue, ratifies appointments of commissioners, and oversees the Office of Management and Budget.

During regular session, Band Assembly conducts formal business every Wednesday at 10 a.m during regular legislative session. You may view Band Assembly in-person or via live-streaming.

Announcements

  1. With the new website going live, please find the Band's Constitution and Statutes on the Tribal Register.
  2. For all 2022 election information, please go to the webpage - Election Information.


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Elected Officials

Sheldon Boyd

Secretary/Treasurer/Speaker of the Assembly

Sheldon Boyd was elected Secretary/Treasurer in 2018. In this role, he wears two hats — Secretary/Treasurer and Speaker of the Asssembly. As Secretary/Treasurer, he has the powers and duties in administrating the financial affairs of Band government. As Speaker of the Assembly, he is the leader of the Legislative Branch.

His priorities include transparency and inclusion of Band members in the legislative process. 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.

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.

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.

Virgil Wind

District I Representative

Virgil Wind is a member of Band Assembly and was elected to serve as the District I Representative in 2020. Wind grew up in District I of the Mille Lacs Reservation, where he was raised by his grandparents, the late Sonny and Dorothy Wind.

Wind is known as a collaborative leader who is committed to getting things done for the betterment of Band members. “I’m going in knowing that my personal feelings and biases really don’t count at all compared to the needs of 4,800 Band members who want to leave a better world for our future generations. If we take a collaborative approach mentality and maintain the willingness to have hard conversations as a team and as a family, we will be worlds ahead of where we are today.”

In addition to his service to the Band, Wind is an active community volunteer, serving as chairman of the Onamia Public School Board, and a member of the local Indian parent committee. He also volunteers in support of youth sports and for his children’s activities. Wind enjoys participating in cultural activities, playing volleyball, and spending time with his fiancé Nicole and his five kids, Dionne, Keenan, Josh, Jakob, and Emma.

Prior to joining Band Assembly, Wind was an entrepreneur and business owner, operating an independent contracting business for the past 27 years.

Wendy Merrill

District II Representative

Wendy Merrill is the newest member of the Band Assembly and was elected to serve as the District II Representative in 2022. Merrill grew up in District I of the Mille Lacs Reservation, where she was raised by her parents Melanie & Jeff Sam until she was 16 then she moved to Chiminising. Merrill currently resides in the Chiminising community (DIIA) in Isle. Wendy and her husband, Carlos Merrill, have three children together; Amelio, Nevaeh, and Carols Jr. In addition, they have added to their family by taking in their nieces Celleia, Brooklynn, and Rihanna, and their nephew Derek.

Representative Merrill’s education includes; receiving her GED,
Associate in Arts degree from Central Lakes Community College, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Scholastica, with a focus on Organizational Behavior and a minor in Psychology.

2018 was a big year for Merrill as she was able to celebrate another important milestone, the achievement of a Master’s degree. Her degree program, through the University of Minnesota -Duluth, was called the Masters of Tribal Administration and Governance. This program was designed for current or future tribal administrators, council members, and tribal leaders. Her graduation from this program came at a pivotal moment, as she was asked to take on a new role in the Legislative Branch of government as the Legislative Affairs Director working directly for Secretary-Treasurer Sheldon Boyd.

In 2020, Merrill decided to tackle a new academic goal of earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA), with completion in May 2022. Also, in 2020, she was recruited to serve as the Assistant General Manager of Grand Casino Mille Lacs.
As Representative Merrill learned about the world through the lens of an academic, she also felt a gravitational pull to have a voice in the education system, specifically around tribal youth. She serves on the American Indian Parent Committee for close to 10 years.
Culturally, Representative Merrill and her family are active in the Ceremonial Drum society of the Mille Lacs Band and surrounding communities. She embraces the beauty and importance of her culture.

Representative Merrill announced her intention to run for Mille Lacs Band elected office, as the District II Representative in December 2021. She won the Primary Election on April 6th, 2022, and was sworn into office on July 12th, 2022.




Harry Davis

District III Representative

Bio coming soon.

Legislative Branch Employee Contact List

Legislative Branch Main Line

320-532-4181 x7428

Sheldon Boyd - Secretary Treasurer

Office: 320-532-7427
Cell Phone: 320-630-6369

Virgil Wind - District 1 Representative

Office: 320-532-7424
Cell Phone: 320-630-5570

Darla Roache - District 1 Office Manager

Office: 320-532-7423
Cell Phone: 320-362-0793

Wendy Merrill - District 2 Representative

Office: 218-768-3311
Cell Phone: 320-362-4925

Cheryl Miller - District 2 Legislative Aide

Office: 218-768-3311
Cell Phone: 320-630-6870

Harry Davis - District 3 Representative

Office: 320-384-6240
Cell Phone: 320-630-5368

Open - District 3 Legislative Aide

Office: 320-384-6240 X3224
Cell Phone:

Brianna Boyd - Legislative Affairs Director

Office: 320-532-7536
Cell Phone: 320-630-8702

Valerie Harrington - Legislative Chief Communications Officer

Office: 320-532-8918
Cell Phone: 320-630-5123

Semira Kimpson - Legislative Coordinator

Office: 320-532-7422
Cell Phone: 320-630-0350

Darcie Big Bear - Parliamentarian/Clerk of the Band Assembly

Office: 320-532-7420
Cell Phone: 320-362-0126

Kiana Morrison - Assistant Band Assembly Clerk

Office: 320-532-7428

Adam Candler - Legislative Counsel

Office: 320-532-7421
Cell Phone: 320-630-5044

Hanna Valento - Revisor of Statutes

Office: 320-532-7435
Cell Phone: 320-362-0467

Joseph Jensen - Legislative Staff Attorney

Office: 320-532-8919
Cell Phone: 320-733-0421

Deanna Sam - Department of Motor Vehicles Deputy Registrar

Office: 320-532-7498
Cell Phone: 320-279-0178