Did you know that the Fond du Lac Reservation has another name?
Pronounced Nah-Gah-Chi-Wa-Nong, it means “where the current is blocked” in Ojibwe. The current in this instance is the water that runs through the St. Louis River in Minnesota.
But right now, it could pertain to the electric current Power North member Holden Electric Co. is working on at the new water treatment plant. Employee Mike Norlen and the rest of the Holden team are making sure the electric current is flowing freely through the new facility so fresh water can continue to flow freely to all the residents of the Fond du Lac Reservation.
The Reservation “is the land-base for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa” and was established in the 1854 treaty. It is 158.38 square miles in northwest Minnesota and is in the Lake Superior watershed. As of 2020, 4,184 people live there.
The Reservation put out a bid for workers on the project in early 2021. Holden applied and was chosen to take on the electrical portion of the project. Over the last 6 months, the team has been working hard to install everything needed in the new building. The rest of the work will likely take another year to complete. While the timeline is long, the project has been running according to schedule.
“Everything’s gone pretty smoothly down here, explains Norlen. “There’s been a few shipping delays and stuff like that, but other than that, nothing has really gone wrong.”
While the team works hard to keep up with timelines and deadlines, its first priority is always safety. Every member of the Power North is dedicated to putting safety first and foremost. We want to ensure every team member goes home safe and sound at night and every worksite is a safe spot for anyone to visit.
“We rank safety very high,” says Norlen. “We haven’t had any major incidents on any of my crews. Nothing is worth getting anybody hurt.”
When the project is completed, Fond du Lac will have an even better and safer treatment plant providing safe drinking water. This project will add another great example of how Power North members are keeping the community safe and our infrastructure running at top form.