As the economy recovers from what is being called the worst recession since the great depression, rural economies are still feeling the effects. The greater economy is rebounding, but a large amount of the jobs that were lost due to the housing bubble and subsequent global financial debacle are just not returning.

Budgets were tightened across the country in the public sector as a result of the recession, and one of the results was that wages have been stagnating as well. In an effort to alleviate some of the pains and penalties that come with lower wages, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has stepped up and offered its employees one of the greatest wage increases in the country. 

Effective March 9, 2014, the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee has approved and adopted an increase in the minimum wage for all employees of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and its entities and businesses. The new minimum wage will be $10.25 per hour.

“This issue has been being debated at the federal level for a very long time. We raised our minimum wage to $9.00 per hour a few years ago, With this new increase, I think it’s safe to say that we are out in front of this issue, taking the lead,” said Chairwoman Carri Jones.