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SAULT STE. MARIE — All tribal board incumbents running for re-election were returned to office in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians' 2016 General Election, according to June 23's General Election Day unofficial results.

In the chairperson's race, incumbent Aaron Payment was re-elected. Running against him was Unit 3 Director Keith Massaway. Chairperson Payment said, "I am honored and humbled to have been returned to office by Sault Tribe voters. We have great things on the horizon that deserve immediate attention, like our mandatory trust petition and our downstate casinos that will yield much needed revenues to expand services back home and finally bring services to members no matter where they live. I will do my best to earn everyone's support going forward."

The Sault Tribe is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors with representatives from five election units across the tribe's seven-county service area in the Michigan counties of Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft, Alger, Delta and Marquette and a chairperson elected by all tribal members registered to vote. The four-year terms are staggered so that the board always has experienced directors seated. The election is conducted by mail.

In Unit 1 (Sault area), three seats were up for election, with Unit 1 Director Cathy Abramson retiring. Incumbents Dennis McKelvie and Jennifer McLeod were voted back in and newcomer Michael McKerchie will take the seat vacated by Abramson.

In Unit 2 (Hessel area), incumbent Lana Causley-Smith was returned to office unopposed.

In Unit 3 (St. Ignace area), incumbent Bridgett Sorenson defeated opponent Ilene Moses.

In Unit 4 (Manistique area), Director Darcy Morrow was returned to office, fending off candidate Krystal Goudreau.

In the Unit 5 (Munising area) Special Election to decide who would fill the vacancy left by former director Rita Glyptis's removal, Anita Nelson defeated Charles Matson Sr.

The contest period for election results ends June 27 after which the results will be certified and the directors installed in a special ceremony where they will take the oath of office.

(Winners in bold)

Aaron A. Payment 3,485
Keith Massaway 3,224

Michael McKerchie 1,559
Dennis McKelvie 1,487
Jennifer McLeod-Tyson 1,382
Angeline Boulley 1,299
Betty Freiheit 1,154
Nichole Causley 1,107

Lana Causley was unopposed and deemed elected

Bridgett Sorenson 931
Ilene Moses 547

Darcy Morrow 488
Krystal Goudreau 299

Anita Nelson 295
Charles Matson Sr. 222

Michael Olujic

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — After a national search, the Kewadin Gaming Authority has hired Michael J. Olujic as the new CEO of Kewadin Casinos. He was selected by an independent interview panel.

Olujic will come onboard July 11.

"I am very excited to be part of Kewadin Casinos and the tribe, and I am honored to be part of the team," said Olujic. " I am happy to contribute to Kewadin Casinos' success now and into the future."

The new CEO brings over 15 years of executive management and over 10 years of executive gaming and tribal financial experience to his new role. Olujic has held senior leadership roles as General Manager of Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Ariz., CEO of North Star Mohican Casino Resort in Bowler, Wis., and CFO of Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin in Green Bay. Prior to working with tribes, Olujic held strategic financial leadership positions at IBM.

Within these leadership roles, Olujic led and managed over $270 million in new property development and venue transformation. He has also managed organizations in excess of $500 million and over 3,000 employees. Olujic's properties have achieved accolades such as AAA 4 Diamond recognition, Travelocity Excellence Award, Open Table top restaurants, Wine Spectator award, and Telly/Davey Awards for best marketing commercial and direct mail.

Olujic is a member of the Oneida Nation of Indians of Wisconsin and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University with a major in Accounting and a minor in American Indian Studies, and an MBA from Marquette University.

museum of ojibwa cultureThe new exhibit Broken Feathers: A Path to Healing the Circle opens July 1 at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture.

Curator: Sue St. Onge.

Join us for an opening reception July 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the museum.

For more information call 906-643-9161.

The Museum of Ojibwa Culture is located at 500 N. State St. in St. Ignace.

Broken Feathers.pdf

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A regular meeting of the Sault Tribe Board of Directors will be held at the Bay de Noc College in Escanaba, Room SC 525 ITV, starting at 5 p.m. on June 14. The meeting will be preceded by "Matters Raised by the Membership" from 4 to 5 p.m. Please note the meeting will begin at 5 p.m., one hour earlier than standard.

Resolutions on the agenda are: Budgets: Gaming Commission, Education - YEA, ACFS - Title IV-B Subpart 2, ACFS - ICWA Title IV-B Subpart 1 and Telecommunications; Tribal Transportation - St. Ignace Housing Roads; Authorization to Apply for Climate Change Adaptation Planning Grant; Purchase of Property (2); Amending Tribal Code Ch. 71: Criminal Offenses; two Partial Waivers; Opposition to Auction House Sales of Native American Sacred Objects, Objects of Cultural Patrimony and Human Ancestral Remains; Compensation of Appellate Court Judges; Indigenous Peoples Day; Amending Tribal Board Travel Policy; Amending Tribal Code: Ch. 96: Open Meeting Ordinance; Amending Tribal Code: Ch. 94: Kewadin Authority Charter; and Amending Tribal Code: Ch. 10: Election Ordinance - Residency.

Under new business, the board will consider a Committee Request, Economic Development and HR Audit.

June 14 Meeting Resolutions.pdf

On Saturday, June 11, Kewadin Casino Sault Ste. Marie is sponsoring the 7th annual Sault Area Auto Show on the Historic Water Street behind City Hall. There will be excellent door prizes, several grand prize drawings, trophies and plaques for registered car show participants.

The public is invited to attend and there is never a gate fees for spectators. A food and beverage tent will be available. Come out and spend a few hours with us you will be amazed at the quality of classic car right here in the Sault. Classic Car and Motorcycle sales are encouraged. Look forward to seeing you there!

7th Car Show.pdf

If your 2016 General Election ballot is stuck to the pre-paid return envelope, peel the ballot away from the envelope as best as you can. It is OK if the ballot is torn. It is, however, EXTREMELY important that the red numbers on the bottom of the ballot remain physically connected to the part of the ballot that lists the candidates. If these are not physically connected, your vote may not be counted. If you are not comfortable separating the two, you are encouraged to mark your ballot and then mail the ballot, still stuck to the return envelope, in a separate, properly postmarked envelope to the return address listed on the front of the return envelope.

Any questions, please contact Tribal Enrollment at 906-632-8552 OR 1-800-251-6597.

The Veterans History Project is coming to Sault Ste. Marie to interview Vietnam veterans from June 24 to July 1. Interviews to be conducted in Sault Ste. Marie and Brimley, Mich. Exact locations to be determined.

The Library of Congress' Veterans History Project collects, preserves and makes accessible personal accounts of American war veterans so future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Its Vietnam War project covers the 1961 to 1975 period. Our veterans' personal stories provide a richer picture of an important historical period and are invaluable to informing the public about our history.

Kanava International is assisting the Department of Defense to identify Vietnam veterans in the Upper Peninsula who are interested in participating in the Vietnam War interviews.

A team from the Department of Defense will be in the local area during June 24 to July 1, 2016 to interview men and women who served in the Vietnam War. As a special opportunity, Joe Galloway, author (with Lt. Gen. Harold Moore) of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young and We Are Soldiers Still, will conduct some of these interviews.

Please support this important opportunity for area Vietnam Veterans to tell their stories.

If you would like to participate or have any questions, please contact Devon Hardy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 703-697-4880.

Military History Interviews.pdf

Soo Locks Engineers Day observance — Please join us in honoring our Vietnam veterans. The Vietnams War commemoration ceremony is at the Soo Locks on Engineers Day on Friday, June 24, 2016, at 10 a.m., between the MacArthur and Poe Locks. The ceremony recognizes the service of all living men and women who were on active duty, regardless of location, during the period of the Vietnam War, Nov. 1, 1955–May 15, 1975.

"A grateful nation thanks and honors you."

Kanava International and the Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitors Bureau teamed up to bring this observance to Engineers Day. The Department of Defense presents 50th anniversary lapel pins, which have been specially designed to honor all veterans of the Vietnam War period. Pins will be presented at the 10 a.m. ceremony, as well as all day in the "veterans' village" tent at the Soo Locks.

Commemoration Flyer.pdf

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - A regular meeting of the Sault Tribe Board of Directors will be held at the Kewadin Shores Casino in St. Ignace starting at 6 p.m. on June 1. The meeting will be preceded by "Matters Raised by the Membership" from 4 to 6 p.m.

Resolutions on the agenda are: Head Start Supplement; Head Start /Early Head COLA; Indian Housing Plan Amendment #1; ICDBG - HUD, ICDBG - 24 CFR Requirement; Opposing Senate Bill 39, Rescinding Res. 2016-97-Video Conferencing; Shutting Down of Enbridge Line 5; Proclamation Honoring Director Abramson; Amending Ch. 94: Kewadin Authority Charter; Amending Ch. 21: Inland Fishing and Hunting; Amending Ch. 96: Open Meetings Act; Amending Ch. 10: Election Ordinance; Amending Ch. 11: Tribal Enrollment; Directing Legal Dept. Constitutional Amendments; Auth Chair to Enter Construction Contract for Epoufette; Budget: MEDC Epoufette Harbor, MEDC Grand Marais Dock, Sponsorships, Planning/Development and Indirect, Am Indian Sub Abuse, Purchased and Referred Care, Good Health and Wellness Indian Country, Partnerships to Improve Community Health, IHS Special Diabetes, IHS Healthy Heart, Health Center Administration and St. Ignace Clinic.

Under New Business, the board will consider a Committee Request, Criminal Code Changes, Savings from Vacant Unit 5 Seat Budget Mod, Escanaba Meeting, and a Key Employee Issue.

June 1 Meeting Resolutions.pdf

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Unofficial results are in for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Primary Election for the Sault Tribe Board of Directors. All incumbents running for office in this election will move forward in the General Election. From a field of four in the chairperson's race, two candidates will move forward to the General Election, and they will be incumbent Aaron A. Payment with 3,193 votes and Unit 3 Director Keith Massaway with 2,073 votes.

The deadline for contests related to the vote count is May 23. There are five voting units across the Sault Tribe's seven-county service area in Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula for a total of 10 board seats. The chairperson is elected by all the tribe's registered voters. The unit directors' four-year terms are staggered so that approximately half the board seats are up for election every two years.

There were 15 candidates vying for three Unit 1 seats and only six will progress to the General Election. Unit 1 Director Cathy Abramson announced her retirement, opening a seat for a new director. Incumbents Dennis McKelvie and Jennifer McLeod Tyson move forward with 965 and 683 votes respectively, along with Michael McKerchie with 912 votes, Angeline Boulley with 663, Betty Freiheit, 645, and Nichole Causley with 628 votes.

Unit 2 incumbent Lana Causley was unopposed and is deemed elected.

In Unit 3, incumbent Bridgett Sorenson, with 854 votes, opposes Ilene Moses, who garnered 322 votes.

In Unit 4, incumbent Darcy Morrow (405 votes) will face Krystal Goudreau (210 votes) in the general election.

In Unit 5, Anita Nelson with 183 votes will face Charles Matson, who had 179 votes. Unit 5 is a special advisory election to replace removed director, Rita Glyptis, for the remainder of her term, which expires in 2018.

General Election Day is June 23. Tribal members can read general election candidates' platforms in Win Awenen Nisitotung's upcoming issue, available online May 27 and in mailboxes June 3. Ballots will be mailed to Sault Tribe registered voters June 1.

Unofficial results in alphabetical order are:

Charles Forgrave, 262
Keith Massaway, 2073
Thomas Miller, 763
Aaron A. Payment, 3193

Unit 1 (Sault Ste. Marie area)
Angeline Boulley, 663
Nichole Causley, 628
Charles Cook Sr., 411
Angela Declue, 254
Betty Freiheit, 645
Janice Frye, 321
Samuel Gardner Jr., 344
Janet Liedel, 270
Jennifer McLeod Tyson, 683
Michael McKerchie, 912
Dennis McKelvie, 965
George Parish, 526
Maureen "Sue" Pavlat, 318
Helen Wilkins, 280
Barbara Willis, 422

Unit 2 (Hessel area)
Lana Causley was unopposed.

Unit 3 (St. Ignace area)
Ilene Moses, 322
Bridgett Sorenson, 854
Bonnie Woodford Culfa, 197

Unit 4 (Manistique area)
Krystal Goudreau, 210
Darcy Morrow, 405
Gerald Winberg Sr., 166

Unit 5 (Munising area)
Tyler LaPlaunt, 80
Charles Matson Sr. 179
Anita Nelson, 183
Boyd Snyder, 78

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY