Tribal Council members take oath of office
BARAGA — New members were sworn in and officers selected and confirmed at Saturday’s meeting of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Tribal Council.
Before the swearing in could take place, the previous council had to certify the election results, which were presented by election board chairwoman Diana Chaudier.
She presented the election results, as well as statistics showing that 73 percent of registered voters participated in the election.
Vice President Jennifer Misegan commended the Election Board for its hard work as she made the motion to certify the results, which passed unanimously.
Council member Rodney Loonsfoot asked if there had been anyone turned away at the polls. Chaudier said that there were some who were turned away due to not being registered to vote. Loonsfoot requested a log of the names, which Chaudier said she could supply.
Outgoing council members Misegan and Fred Dakota were recognized for their time on the council by president Warren “Chris” Swartz Jr. before new members were sworn in.
Swartz recalled returning from the U.S. Navy in 1982 to find Dakota dealing cards in the small casino he started. He never thought Indian American gaming would grow as it did.
“We have so many services that we are able to provide because of Indian gaming,” Swartz said. “We’ve come a long way.”
Misegan was recognized for her 12 years serving the council as well.
“Hopefully, your skill set will continue to be utilized,” Swartz said. “Chi-miigwech (thank you) for everything you do.”
After that, election winners Swartz, Dale Goodreau, Kim Klopstein and Susan LaFernier were sworn in.
Bill Jondreau was sworn in as chief judge to replace Brad Dakota, who served for nearly 30 years.
Both Swartz and LaFernier were nominated to be council president, but LaFernier declined the nomination.
“I guess there’s no need for a vote,” Swartz said, before being re-confirmed.
He addressed the group, saying thank you and sharing his concern for the coming year. He has some concern for the casino project but believes if they can push through the next six to 12 months, the project will come together well.
Gary Loonsfoot was confirmed as vice president, LaFernier as secretary, Toni Minton as assistant secretary and Doreen Blaker as treasurer without any competition.