Red Lake Band of Chippewa Chairman Jourdain wins election
BEMIDJI - Red Lake Nation voters gave Chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain another term in leadership.
Jourdain became chairman in 2004 in a special election after Chairman Gerald Bruns died in office. He won re-election in 2006 and again in Wednesday's vote.
"It's awesome - this endorsement of the Red Lake people. I'm honored by that," Jourdain said of his 56 percent majority (1,712 votes), which mean no recount is required. Jourdain's candidacy was in a field of five - Judy Roy, Mary Ringhand, Timothy Beaulieu and Patrician Ann Owens. Roy was his closest contender with 1,138 votes for 37 percent.
Jourdain expressed appreciation for Roy's service to the Red Lake community in Head Start with the Tribal Council.
He said the vote of confidence from his people is also an endorsement of the work of the Tribal Council, which also must pay attention to the input of Red Lake enrollees who live off reservation.
"Now families are connecting with each other," Jourdain said. "They call this home, but they're all over the country."
He said the 2010 election was characterized by respect among the candidates. And when the election process is complete, he said the people support whoever wins.
Looking forward, Jourdain said current leaders must remember top prepare the younger generation for leadership and pass on their experience and traditions.
In more concrete issues, he said the Tribal Council must work on the basics to meet the needs clean environment, infrastructure, business and housing.
He said officials will continue to reach out to other tribes, including the First Nations of Canada where they have been tapped to help oversee construction and management of a new casino in Brandon, Manitoba.
Also up for election Wednesday were incumbent Treasurer Darrell Seki, who ran unopposed, and Tribal Council representatives for Red Lake, Redby, Ponemah and Little Rock. In the case of the representatives, no one achieved the 50 percent plus one vote necessary for a clear win. Consequently, runoff elections will be held between the two top vote getters in each district.
Red Lake unofficial election results give Jourdain win
If uncontested, the runoffs must be held before Saturday, July 24. If contested, the runoffs must be held before Tuesday, Aug. 3. Incumbent Secretary Kathryn "Jody" Beaulieu won 856 votes for 27 percent, and her opponent, Don Cook, won 578 votes for 18 percent.
For the Red Lake representative, incumbent Donald "Don Dez" Desjarlait won 508 votes for 39 percent, and his opponent, Roman "Ducker" Stately, won 424 votes for 33 percent. For the Redby representative, Julius "Toady" Thunder won 290 votes for 38 percent, and incumbent Thomas "Jambi" Westbrook won 204 votes for 27 percent. For the Ponemah representative, incumbent Gary Nelson won 248 votes for 47 percent, and his opponent, Jeff Kingbird, won 172 votes for 33 percent. For the Little Rock representative, incumbent William "Billy" Green won 141 votes for 26 percent, and his opponent, Ron Lussier, won 131 votes for 24 percent.