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Kalle Benallie
ICT

Native Vote 22 starts on tribal land.

Tribes across the country have been holding elections in 2022 in a highly competitive national midterm year.

One of the more recent tribal elections was for future leadership on the Navajo Nation. Its primary election was on Aug. 2. Results dwindled down the presidential nominees to Jonathan Nez, the current president, and former Navajo Nation president running mate Buu Nygren. Both recently announced their running mates.

They will be facing off on Nov. 8.

Here are some tribal council elections that have taken place this year, that have elected new or re-elected tribal leadership, and some key election dates in the coming months. If we missed any, email kalle@ictnews.org.

Six Ojibwe bands part of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe

Their primary and general elections occur every two years.

The Bois Forte Band on June 14 elected Tara Geshick as secretary treasurer, Shane G. Drift as district I representative and Robert H. Moyer Jr. as district II representative.

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa elected April McCormick as secretary treasurer, Toby Stephens as committee person at large I and Agatha Armstrong as committee person at large II.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe elected Harry Richard Davis as District III representative.

Fond Du Lac Band elected Robert Abramowski as secretary treasurer and Brad (Raff) Blacketter as committee person for district 2. 

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe elected Leonard M. Fineday as secretary treasurer. Kyle Fairbanks was elected as committee person for district 1 and Steve White was re-elected as committee person for district 2. They will serve four-year terms.

The White Earth Band elected Michael “Mike” LaRoque as secretary treasurer, Henry George Fox was elected as committee person for district 1 and Eugene Sommers was elected as committee person for district 2.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

The tribe in South Dakota announced its final primary election results as Ryman Lebeau and Harold Frazier will face off in November’s general election for chairman. For treasurer, it will be Kevin C. Keckler against Kenita Counting. For the council race for district 1, Bernita In the Woods and Daniel James Marshall will advance. For district 3, Kenric Dupris and Michelle White Wolf will advance. For district 4 Kelsie Haskell, Thad Rose, Merrie Miller and Charles “Festus” Fischer will also advance.

San Carlos Apache Tribe

The tribe in Arizona has an upcoming election in November. The tribe’s chairman Terry Rambler announced his campaign for a fourth term in early August. He has been re-elected consecutively as chairman three times since 2010. Each term is four years. 

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

The tribe in Michigan and I announced its election results on Aug. 15. Gary Morseau Sr. was elected vice chair, Alex Wesaw was elected as treasurer, and Rhonda Keene and Mark Parrish were elected to member at large positions. They will join the 11-member council and serve staggered, three-year terms.

Hualapai Tribe

The tribe in Arizona had their general election for four tribal council seats on June 25. Pete Imus, Cheyenne Majenty and Charles Vaughn, Sr. were elected to the tribal council while Blake Watahomigie was re-elected.The tribe conducts general elections in June for even-numbered years.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

The tribe in New York certified its election results on June 4. Beverly Cook was re-elected as chief, Derrick King was elected as sub-chief, Carrie Garrow was re-elected as chief judge and Lois Terrance was re-elected as traffic court judge No. 1. All will serve a three-year term.

Puyallup Tribe of Indians

The tribe in Washington re-elected Bill Sterud as chairman and Annette Bryan to tribal council on June 4. They will serve a three-year term and be part of the seven-person governing body. 

White Mountain Apache Tribe

The tribe in eastern Arizona certified its election results in April for Kasey Velasquez to hold office as chairman.

Cowlitz Indian Tribe

The tribe in Washington elected six people to its tribal council in June. Cassandra Sellards Reck, Maverick Ryan, and Cheryl Bell were re-elected to their positions. Kristopher Kitz, Larry Kestner and Vanessa Robertson were newly elected. They will serve three-year terms and join the 22-member council.

Blackfeet Tribal Nation

The tribe in Montana elected five tribal business council members in June. Lyle Rutherford was elected for position two, Browning; Shelly Hall was elected for position three, Browning; Patrick Armstrong was elected for position four, Heart Butte; Everett Armstrong was elected for position six, Seville and Illif “Scott” Kipp Sr. was re-elected for position eight, Old Agency. They will serve four-year terms that are staggered.

Every even number year in June is election season.

In July the council voted for the executive council positions including: Lauren Monroe Jr. was elected as vice-chair. 

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The California tribe re-elected Lynn ‘Nay’ Valbuena as chairman on April 12. It will be her fifth term. She was first elected in 1994.

Laurena Bolden was elected to her first term on the tribal council as a member-at-large. Latisha Casas was re-elected to her fifth term as treasurer for the tribe. Elected officials will serve two-year staggered terms.  

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Red Lake Nation of Chippewa Indians

The tribe in Minnesota had their run-off elections in July. Darrell G. Seki Sr. was re-elected as chairman, Harlow Spears was elected as the Little Rock representative, Eugene StandingCloud was elected as the Ponemah representative, Robert May was elected as the Red Lake representative and Harold E. Graves, Jr. was elected as the Redby representative.

The council consists of 11 members, three of which are officers elected at large. The other eight members are two from each of the four communities that governs the Red Lake Band.

Pueblo of Zuni

The tribe in New Mexico has their election for governor and lieutenant governor on Aug. 15. Their primary election results confirmed Arden L. Kucate was elected as tribal governor and Cordelia Hooee as lieutenant governor.

Delaware Tribe of Indians

The tribe in Oklahoma is having their tribal Council, trust board, and judicial elections on Nov. 5. The candidate filing period is open until Sept. 1. 

More information is here

Peoria Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma

The tribe in Oklahoma conducted their annual elections and re-elected Craig Harper for chief on March 5. He has been chief since March 2018.

Chickasaw Nation

In August the tribe in Oklahoma conducted their primary elections for four legislative seats and one seat on the supreme court.

Charles Marris of Marietta was elected as Pickens District legislator, Seat 3. Beth Alexander of Colbert was re-elected as Panola District legislator, Seat 1. Derrick Priddy of Sulphur was re-elected as Tishomingo District legislator, Seat 2. Lisa J. Billy of Lindsay was re-elected as Pontotoc District legislator, Seat 5.

Mark H. Colbert of Ardmore was re-elected as supreme court justice, Seat 1.

They will take the oath of office on Oct. 3. Their terms of office are three years.

Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians

The tribe in northeastern Oregon announced their tribal election results in April. Brad Kneaper won for position 2, Teresa Spangler won for position 4 and Doug Barrett was re-elected for position 6. They will serve a four-year term.

Elections for council positions 1, 3 and 5 will be next year.

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

The Colville Business Council announced their general election results in June.

Cindy Marchand was elected for the Inchelium district, position 1 and Cody Peone for position 2; Joseph Somday was re-elected for the Keller District, position 1; Andrew Joseph Jr. was re-elected for the Nespelem District for position 1 and Sharlene Zacherle was re-elected for position 2; Virgil Marchand was re-elected for the Omak District for position 1 and Dustin Best was re-elected for position 2.

The council is made up of 14 members.

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

The tribe in southwestern Colorado will have a general election for two tribal council seats on Nov. 4. Voting will take place at 285 Lakin Street, Ignacio, CO 81137 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

More information is here

Samish Indian Nation

The tribe in Washington announced its election results in June. Tim King was unopposed to win the vice chairman seat. Tamara Rogers also went unopposed to win the treasurer seat. Gary Hatch was elected for a council position.

Kaw Nation

The tribe in Oklahoma is conducting their election day on Sept. 11 for chair, tribal council secretary, tribal council member No. 1 and tribal council member No. 3.

The polling place will be at the Kaw Nation Administration Building in Kaw City, Oklahoma. The last day for an absentee ballot to be received at the Post Office is Sept. 10.

More information is here.

Salt River

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona held its primary earlier this year and its general election on Sept. 6. President Martin Harvier was reelected. Additionally, a seat for vice president, three positions for council members for district I, Salt River and one position for district II, Lehi are up for grabs. 

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*Correction: Navajo Nation presidential candidate is a former president running mate.

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