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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — The June 23 Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians 2016 General Election has been contested by Sault Tribe member Isaac McKechnie. The tribe's Election Committee has ruled against McKechnie, who has until July 7 to appeal.

McKechnie's contest was made under a tribal law that allows just such a challenge. His contest is based on the tribe's Election Committee retrieving the locked box that holds the ballots from the Sault Ste. Marie Post Office at 4:30 p.m., rather than the customary 5 p.m., on Election Day. McKechnie also alleges that the Election Committee's actions warrant an investigation by the federal government.

According to the Election Committee, the ballot box was retrieved a half hour early at the direction of the Sault Ste. Marie US Post Office Postmaster. The Election Committee has already ruled against McKechnie, who now has until Thursday, July 7, to challenge the adverse decision in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribal Court of Appeals.

Due to the filing of the contest, the Election Committee is prohibited by tribal law from immediately certifying the election and installing the winners as is normally done. If McKechnie does not appeal the adverse decision by next Thursday, the Election Committee will ask the Board of Directors to convene next Thursday evening to certify the election and install the winners. If McKechnie appeals the decision, the certification and installation of the election will be postponed until the appeal is concluded, approximately one to three weeks.

SPOKANE, Wash. — At its June 27-30 midyear conference in Spokane, Wash., the National Congress of American Indians adopted a resolution to oppose continued operation of unsafe pipelines that endanger tribal lands and resources, particularly Enbridge's Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac.

Aaron Payment, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Tribe Chairperson, brought the resolution forward.

"The governor of Michigan recently capitulated on a water diversion from the Great Lakes, allowed the Flint drinking water disaster to happen and is dragging his feet on shutting down Enbridge Line 5 under the Mackinac bridge," said Payment.

The Great Lakes represents over 20 percent of the fresh water in the world. Nearly 64 years ago, Line 5 was installed under the Mackinac Straits, which joins the Great Lakes Michigan and Huron. Studies have shown a rupture in Line 5 under the Straits would be catastrophe that present emergency resources could not prevent. Enbridge's pipelines of a similar age have ruptured and caused extensive environmental and economic damages, such as Enbridge's Line 6 in the Kalamazoo River, which spilled 20,000 barrels at a cost of $1.2 billion.

"I have brought or motioned resolutions to United Tribes of Michigan, Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes and now the National Congress of American Indians for which I serve as an executive officer," said Payment. "It is time for action rather than bureaucratic excuses. Shut down Line 5 now!"

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A regular meeting of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors will be held at Kewadin Casino starting at 6 p.m. on July 5. The meeting will be preceded by "Matters Raised by the Membership" from 4 to 6 p.m.

There are no resolutions on the agenda. Under New Business, the board will discuss board travel.

July 5 Board Meeting.pdf

The Hessel Elder Subcommittee is accepting donations for a garage sale on Sept. 10-11. Anyone with anything to donate should ask for Frances Hank at 906-484-2727.

Head Start Appilcations photoSault Tribe's Head Start and Early Head Start program are accepting applications for the 2016-2017 school year. Head Start Centers are located in Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace. Early Head Start Centers are located in the Sault. Home based services are available for pregnant women, infants and toddler in Chippewa and Mackinac Counties. Applications are available by calling 906-635-7722 or e-mailing Shondra Gervais at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY