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Red Lake chairman-elect Seki official on June 10

RED LAKE -- The votes have been tallied, but the victor hasn't yet ascended. The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians will have a new tribal chairman on June 10. Until then, chairman-elect Darrell Seki, Sr. remains humbly focused on his current position as tribal treasurer.

"I'm just the chairman-elect, I won't be sworn in until June," Seki said.

Seki said after he is officially sworn in, he will be working with the Tribal Council and people of the Red Lake Nation to make the nation stronger.

"Working together is key, you can't succeed alone," Seki said.

Two things Seki has in mind for the future of Red Lake are jobs and economic development. He said a feasibility study may be done to determine what types of businesses can succeed in generating revenue on a closed reservation.

"One thing for sure is I and the council need to make sure we don't open up our reservation because of our unique status as a closed reservation," Seki explained.

Seki will become chairman at the public inaugural ceremony at the Red Lake Humanities building at 9 a.m. June 10. Ponemah representative Gary Nelson will also be sworn in during the ceremony which follows the tribal council meeting.

An exhibition by Red Lake Royalty, feast, live entertainment and an arts and crafts giveaway will be part of the 2014 Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Inaugural Ceremony. Royalty will be represented by Red Lake including the band, Red Lake Elementary, Pohemah Elementary, Red Lake Head Start, Ponemah Head Start, BSU Council of Indian Students and Circle of Nations Indigenous Association. Following the honor song, royalty will dance on stage and lead Seki and Nelson to greet the public on the floor.

Seki received 55 percent of votes for chairman in the 2014 general election. Current chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain received 1,284 votes, Seki won by 623 votes with 1,907. Kathryn "Jody" Beaulieu (192 votes) and Ron Lussier (57 votes) also competed for chairman.

Candidates who will fill the secretary, treasurer and Red Lake, Redby and Little Rock representative positions will be confirmed in July after run-off elections. Seki and Nelson were the only candidates to receive more than 50 percent of the votes.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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