Department of Administration

The Department of Administration oversees a variety of programs and services for Mille Lacs Band members. The department is supervised by Commissioner Catherine Colsrud, who was appointed by Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin and ratified by the Band Assembly.

The Commissioner oversees the Assistant Commissioner of Administration, the Commissioner of Community Development, the Commissioner of Health & Human Services, and the Commissioner of Natural Resources. She also oversees the day-to-day operations of the tribal government, including fiscal responsibilities, human resources, contract and grant management as well as serves as chief of staff to the Chief Executive, Melanie Benjamin.

The Assistant Commissioner of Administration is Michele Palomaki. In this role, she acts in a deputy-level capacity to the Commissioner of Administration to help manage the day-to-day operations of the Mille Lacs Band government. Her duties include managing human resources, finances, and contracts for the executive branch of Band government. Palomaki will also act as Commissioner of Administration when the Commissioner is absent and will assist other commissioners with day to day operations as needed.

Department of Administration programs and services include the following:

Department of Labor

Tribal Employment Rights Office

Job Postings

Tribal Government Facilities

Urban Office


The Department of Administration is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the tribal government, including administering all grants and contracts and overseeing all personnel issues and lobbying activities as directed by the Chief Executive.

Catherine Colsrud, CommissionerofAdministration: 320-532-7480,

Michele Palomaki, Assistant Commissioner of Administration: 320-532-7530,

Angel Oehrlein, Executive Assistant: 320-532-7478,

Community Centers

The community centers offer numerous programs and services to youth, adults and Elders in their communities. Specific programs and services are listed separately under the appropriate department.

District I Community Center

43408 Oodena Drive
Onamia, MN 56359
Megan Ballinger, District I Legislative Community Center Coordinator: 320-532-7423,, 800-709-6445, ext. 7585

District IIA (Chiminising) Community Center

2605 Chiminising Drive
Isle, MN 56342
Carmen Green, Program Administrator: 320-676-1102, 877-676-1299,

District II (East Lake) Community Center

36666 Highway 65
McGregor, MN 55760
Renee Johnson, Program Administrator: 218-768-3311, 877-768-3311,

District III (Aazhoomog) Community Center

45749 Grace Lake Road
Sandstone, MN 55072
Michelle Peer, Program Administrator: 320-384-6240, 877-884-6240,

Human Resources

Personnel Policies

Band employees can contact the department with any questions about the Band government’s personnel policies.

Cyrilla Bauer, Director of Human Resources: 320-532-7488,

Stacey Sanchez, HR Manager: 320-532-7866,

Fringe Benefits and Workers Compensation

Band employees can contact the department with any questions about their health, dental, and life insurance plans; disability coverage; 401(k) plan; and workers compensation.

Dawn Chosa, Benefits Coordinator: 320-532-7477,

Job Openings

The department is responsible for posting current job openings with the Band’s government and completing employment verifications and background and driver’s license checks.

Kitty Johnson, Human Resources Specialist: 320-532-7460,

Sara Janie Miller, Human Resources Administrative Assistant: 320-532-4742, Employee Assistance Program

This program assists Band employees whose job performance may be affected by health or other issues.

Darlene Day, Employee Relations Coordinator: 320-532-7847,

Information Systems Department

The Information Systems Department is responsible for the computers, computer networks, and telephone systems throughout the Government Center, community centers, clinics, and the Urban Office.

Keith Modglin, Information Systems Director: 320-532-4736,

Clayton Benjamin, Information Systems Technician: 320-532-4707,

Garrett Sam, Information Systems Technician: 320-532-7406,

Vacant, Information Systems Administrative Assistant: 320-532-7584

Notary Public Services

Notary Publics attest to or certify writings to make them authentic and official. Notary public services are offered free of charge to Band members.

District I Office: 320-532-7440

District II Office: 218-768-2427

District III Office: 320-384-6240

Urban Office: 612-872-1424

Self-Governance Office

The Self-Governance Office is responsible for monitoring and implementing permanent self-governance laws within the United States Department of the Interior and the Department of Health and Human Services.

John Mojica, Self-Governance Coordinator: 320-532-7479,

Child Support Enforcement Program

The Child Support Enforcement Program assists Band members through the legal process of child support, including the determination of child support obligations and enforcing those obligations.

Rachel (Sam) Sablan, Child Support Enforcement Director: 320-532-7461,

Shannon Nayquonabe, Case Manager: 320-532-7453,

Tammy Smith, Case Manager: 320-532-7752,

Valerie Harrington, Financial Worker: 320-532-7434,

Ann Stafford, Inter-Jurisdictional Coordinator: 320-532-7591,

Michelle Pagel, Administrative Assistant: 320-532-7755,

Grants Department

The Grants Department seeks funding from federal, state, and philanthropic agencies to benefit Mille Lacs Band programs. The grants staff is available to assist department directors with programmatic compliance requirements and formulate strategies for future funding pursuits.

Vacant, Grants Director: 320-532-7860,

Carla Big Bear, Grants Manager: 320-532-7517,

Brenda Jindra, Grants Compliance Manager: 320-532-7436,

Ramona Bird, Grants Writer: 320-532-7860,

Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO)

The Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) ensures that all employment entities of the Non-Removable Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe shall give preference to Native Americans in hiring, promotion, training and all other aspects of employment, including contracting and subcontracting. TERO does not directly hire or make hiring decisions; however, it does refer qualified Band members and other Native Americans to companies doing business on lands of the Non-Removable Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

Craig Hansen, TERO Director: 320-532-4778 (c) 320-630-2617 (f ) 320-532-7505,

Lisa Ballinger, TERO Compliance Officer: (c)320-630-8777,