The Red Lake Reservation is home to 75 percent of the Tribe’s 10,000 Band members. The primary sources of livelihood include hunting, fishing, and subsistence natural resource harvesting. Natural resources historically represented the most important source of employment to the Band members, with commercial fishing and logging representing the two most important industries. These two industries affect every member on the Reservation. Therefore, preserving and restoring its rich aquatic ecosystem and abundance of other natural resources is critical to Band members’ health, welfare, traditional ways of life, economic viability, and is a high priority for the Band.
Natural resources programs for the Reservation have been productively operating since the 1980’s. Base programs such as forestry, fisheries, wildlife, waters, and environmental protection have created a strong foundation allowing expansions in recent years to create specialized programs such as wetlands, GIS, air quality, and fire prevention to name a few.