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New Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council inducted

Tribal council
Tribal council(KTTC)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 7:08 PM CST
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RED WING, Minn. (KTTC) – The new Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council was sworn in on Sunday. After serving for two years, the council welcomed some new members, welcomed back some old and honored past members.

“I wish them wisdom and protection and I also wish to acknowledge the council that just completed its term including vice president Lu Taylor,” General Counsel Jessie Seim said.

Taylor served 10 terms on the council and members said she served her community well. Sunday, four previous councilmembers returned to the council and one member was added, Cody Whitebear who is serving as the Assistant Secretary and Treasurer.

“To be trusted with the responsibility of leading this great tribe is something I was unsure I would ever have the privilege and honor of being able to experience,” Whitebear said.

Valentina Mgeni was selected to serve as Secretary, and Michael Childs Jr. is the new Treasurer. Returning member Shelly Buck will serve as Vice President after serving as President last term.

“I sit on every board or committee as well as done everything asked of me to make sure our story is finally heard,” Buck said.

Johnny Johnson is the new president of the Tribal Council.

“I welcome this opportunity in representing these next two years as your president,” Johnson said.

Many returning councilmembers talked about the difficulty of serving on the council during the pandemic. They had to shut their businesses down for 2 and a half months and furlough 90 percent of their workers.

“Undoubtedly, it has been a bumpy past two years for us all and Prairie Island is no different. We faced many challenges with many of the them stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Buck said.

“Also Wopidatanka to all tribal government employees including Dakota station and Treasure Island employees for your continually support and a job well done during an unbelievable pandemic,” Johnson said.

Only immediate family was able to attend the ceremony in person due to COVID restrictions, but other friends and family zoomed into the ceremony to welcome in the new council.

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