CASS LAKE -- The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe announced on Friday their venture into the food retail industry with the purchase of Teal's Market located in Cass Lake.

Leech Lake Market is anticipated to take over operations on Thursday, Oct. 21, and will feature the same fresh meats and produce, wide ranges of quality groceries with competitive pricing, a bakery, walk-up deli and convenience store, a release said.

“Our family has been part of the Cass Lake community for 79 years, so the decision to sell Teal's Market has been and was a very tough decision, but we have decided that it is time to pass the torch," Roger Teal, the former owner of Teal's, said in the release. "The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is a natural fit to carry on. The Teal family would like to thank our loyal customers and dedicated associates for their support over all of these years which made our success possible."

Leech Lake Tribal Chairman Faron Jackson also expressed the tribe's excitement about the new endeavor.

“We are very excited about this next business venture," Jackson said. "This latest acquisition, supported by the tribal council, is just one of many success stories for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The purchase of Teal's is a milestone in the assurance of food sovereignty for the band as well as continuing diversification of the businesses which the band owns and operates.”

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Leech Lake Tribal Council District 3 Rep. LeRoy Staples-Fairbanks added that food sovereignty is about providing and safeguarding the tribe's most treasured resource, the people.

"Our communities need to know that their government is acting to ensure they will always have access to healthy and sustainable food systems," he said. "Today is a step toward defining our own food systems and moving beyond the federal government deciding what our people consume. Today is our day, our future and our new food market.”

Leech Lake Market is located at 604 Lyle Chisholm Drive NW in Cass Lake. The store will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Along with Leech Lake Market, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe also owns and operates Cedar Lakes Casino-Hotel and Leech Lake Supply Company in Cass Lake; Leech Lake Express in Cass Lake and Walker; Shingobee on the Bay and Northern Lights Casino, Hotel and Event Center in Walker; and White Oak Casino in Deer River.