White Earth District III Committeeman Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts, 64, is running for a second four-year term on the five-person Tribal Council, he said in a news release.
Speaking to family and supporters, Tibbetts said he is running because, “White Earth Reservation needs to continue the great work it has been doing. Over the last four years, we have stabilized the finances of the band, we have taken care of our families through a funeral fund, and we have taken care of our homeless population through a Humanitarian Assistance Resolution. We fully funded the $12 million MOMs and MATS facility in Naytahwaush to help care for our members affected by addiction.”
At the campaign announcement, Tibbetts focused on community development, behavioral health and economic development.
For White Earth communities he said, “we built a $1.2 million community center in the village of Pine Point that is open and supporting our community members. Many of our programs will be operating out of this facility. For District III, Pine Point was often forgotten, so I made it a priority on the Tribal Council to make sure its voice was heard.
For elders, “We just passed the budget for the Elder Affairs Commission to better care for elders. We also passed expanded elder roof snow removal services. And this year we are fully funding the National Indian Council of Elders trip for tribal elders to represent White Earth.”
For youth, he said, “during my tenure, we fully supported the White Earth Boys and Girls Club. In Mahnomen, we purchased the Cenex building and authorized a remodel of the facility. We opened a Boys and Girls Club in Waubun — many of the projects we approved were beneficial for all members regardless of their district.”
As the District III committeeman, he has been a strong supporter of tribal veterans as he helped author the Veteran, Servicemember, and Veteran Family Care Resolution, which expanded significant benefits for tribal veterans and their families.
Tibbetts strongly supports culture and education for White Earth Nation, and voted for a $1.3 million donation that was made available to the Circle of Life Academy.
Tibbetts was first elected to the tribal council in 2016. A lifelong resident of the White Earth Reservation, Tibbetts helped build several of the buildings on the reservation. His family started the first Native American-owned garbage service on the reservation in 1971, that was sold to the band in 1994.
Tibbetts and his significant other, Rosella, have been together for over 32 years and have three grown children with four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren. He has been a foster parent and a foster grandparent for many families.