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Filing ends Friday for tribal jobs

Election time is drawing near for the members of the White Earth Band of Chippewa.

Potential candidates have until this Friday, Feb. 3, to file for three open positions: Secretary-treasurer, District 1 committeeperson and District 2 committeeperson.

The General Election Board will receive filings on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $5 to file for secretary-treasurer and $2.50 for district committeeperson. The election office is located at 115 Jefferson Ave., Mahnomen (behind the laundromat).

As a result of the Nov. 22 secretarial election, two amendments to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's election laws were approved.

One amendment will make it impossible for any tribal member convicted of a felony, or a lesser crime involving theft, misappropriation or embezzlement of funds, assets or property belonging to any Indian tribe or tribal organization, to hold an elected office within the tribe.

The other amendment requires all candidates for elected office within the tribe to be an enrolled member of the tribe and to be a resident of the reservation for at least one year prior to the date of election.

Though four challenges to the amendments were filed, all have been denied. The new laws become effective with the 2006 elections, according to White Earth public relations coordinator Gary Padrta.

"The primary election is scheduled for April 4, and the general election is June 13," Padrta added. "The top two primary vote-getters for each office will go on to the general election."

All potential candidates must be at least 21 years of age on or before the date of election. All filings must also be made in person, and candidates are asked to bring proper identification.

Because there have been several major revisions to the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe's election ordinance since the last election, candidates and other interested parties are urged to pick up a copy of the ordinance at the election offices in Mahnomen.

The mailing address for the General Election Board is P.O. Box 10, Mahnomen MN 56557. The board may also be reached by phone at 218-936-5622, or by fax at 218-936-5623.

For general information about the upcoming election, call the White Earth public relations office at 218-983-3285, Ext. 1206.

In other upcoming events, White Earth Tribal Chairwoman Erma Vizenor is preparing to deliver her annual State of the Band address this Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Shooting Star Casino & Event Center in Mahnomen, starting at 10 a.m. Lunch will be served, and there will be several exhibits of various White Earth tribal programs on display. The public is invited.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454