Jourdain concedes 2014 Red Lake election to Seki
RED LAKE -- After a decade-long reign, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Tribal Chairman Floyd “Buck” Jourdain will be relinquishing his title. Former tribal treasurer Darrell G. Seki will succeed Jourdain as chairman.
Seki’s victory of 1,907 votes versus Jourdain’s 1,284 wasn’t a surprise to the current chairman.
“It’s hard to adapt sometimes, I tried to engage the next generation and push hard for education and constitutional reform,” Jourdain said. “To be a change agent in Indian Country is hard.”
Jourdain said a majority of the tribal council are accustomed to the old ways, which led to some campaigning against him. One of the things Jourdain pursued was a nation building model out of Harvard that focusses on a separation of power from tribal governments, tribal courts and tribal business.
“We’re going through a transformation here on constitutional reform,” Jourdain explained. “We’re growing and we’re changing as a tribe.”
The separation into four districts (Red Lake, Little Rock, Ponemah and Redby) and the Indian Reorganization Act style constitution currently in place on the Red Lake Reservation were all imposed by the federal government, Jourdain explained.
“It’s counter to our philosophy that everybody takes care of each other,” Jourdain said.
Jourdain said the dependence on governments needs to be broken because it leads to poverty. It also leads to lack of jobs and adequate health care, he said. Government, treaties, chemical-free counseling and education are some areas Jourdain will focus on while not in office.
“Eventually, I’d like to teach at a college level to give back to the next generation,” Jourdain said. “Ten years of running an Indian tribe I’ve gained a lot experience and insight into how our tribe, and tribes in general operate.”
Jourdain counts two new Boys & Girls Clubs as his proudest accomplishment while in office. In addition to the youth centers, Jourdain oversaw development of the Warroad and Red Lake casinos which added jobs on the reservation.
“More was accomplished in 10 years than in the prior 40 before I was chair,” Jourdain said.
Jourdain finished a two-year term vacated by the death of Gerald “Butch” Brun in 2004. He won the following two elections, giving him a total of 10 years as tribal chairman. Not long after taking office, Jourdain’s leadership skills were tested.
“The school shooting in 2005 was something no one can ever anticipate. It made me a strong leader,” Jourdain said. “I was there for whatever reason, I was supposed to be there at that time.”
Although it was a brutal election in general, Jourdain won’t rule out running again in the future, he said.
“I love politics and campaigns. I love our tribe and the people,” Jourdain said. “I don’t have hard feelings or animosity.”
Chairman-elect Seki was not reachable for comment Thursday. He will be sworn into office June 10.
The General Election Board certified votes Thursday as follows:
Darrell G. Seki 1907
Floyd “Buck” Jourdain 1284
Kathryn “Jody” Beaulieu 192
Ron Lussier 57
Don Cook Sr. 1023
Sam Strong 911
Judy Roy 906
Jim White 352
Rochelle “Chelle” Kingbird 238
Annette Johnson 1345
Glenda J. Martin 896
Michael Barrett 561
Lee Lussier Jr. 431
Cheryl A. Schoenborn 201
Little Rock Representative
Robert “Charlie” Reynolds 148
Adrian Lee Beaulieu 145
Christopher Jourdain 57
Katherine “Spears” Dudley 53
Gary L. Nelson Sr. 325
Eugene Perkins 103
Clifford C. Hardy 62
Red Lake Representative
Roman “Ducker” Stately 398
Robert “Bob” Smith 161
Robert L. May 155
David F. Desjarlait 127
Donovan M. May 61
Deanna K. Lasley 33
Martin “Mott” Parkhurst 33
Julius “Toady” Thunder 291
Thomas “Jambi” Westbrook 188
Matt Sayers 92
John W. Dudley 64
Clayton Van Wert 34
According to the Red Lake Tribal Council Notice of Election:
Only a candidate, and no other person, may challenge the correctness of the certified results of an election in which that candidate ran for elected office and then only for the office that he or she sought. Any member of the Red Lake Band voting in the election, and no other person, may challenge the correctness of the announced results of a referendum election. All challenges must strictly comply with all applicable provisions of the Tribal Code, Chapter 1800.
Challengers should contact Barbara Cloud, General Election Board Chair.