BAYFIELD, WI — A commercial fishing dock is one step closer to being renovated and expanded in Red Cliff.
Friday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $543,140 to the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians for work needed on the dock.
The funds will be used for improvements to both the existing fish dock, as well as the road access to it.
Red Cliff Chairman Rick Peterson says, “It’s going to move us forward on two fronts. On our economic development, with the proposal of our fish processing plant.
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin said she wants others to know what work is being done in Wisconsin. “We need to be certain people know what a difference these funds make at the local level.”
Officials say the award is part of HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program, which is a nationally competitive program that supports many community developments and affordable housing activities, from new housing for families to community amenities.
Right now, any fish the tribe reel in is sold to a local distributor which then makes its way to the restaurants.
Tribal officials say this new dock will streamline that.
The project will allow licensed tribal fishers to earn a higher income on their catches, as well as give tribes more local control on their fishing industry and distribution of fresh fish.
“And with the help of this grant, we’re now going to better exercise our treat rights. And in turn, help our commercial fishermen better take care of their families” says Peterson.
Using funding that federal officials say is important to local communities.
HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph P Galvin says, “But it will give the American people the knowledge and understanding of how hard this tribe works. And just give them the opportunity to better their lives.”
Officials say the ICDBG program was created in 1977 to help Native American tribes, as well as Alaska Native villages, meet their community development needs.