Fight For Justice
On the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Reservation
Read from the bottom up
February 25, 1997
Click here to see Judge Robert Holmes
Bell, US District Judge's decision denying Dakota petition in asking that
KBIC Attorney Joseph O'Leary not be allowed to testify. this is Dakota's
attempt to have an earlier decision turned over.
Letter from Gary Loonsfoot
February 18, 1997
Response to Ricky Geroux's hearsay and after the fact allegations proffered to the Impeachment Committee
Ricky Geroux has made numerous hearsay allegations of impropriety. It appears that I will not have the opportunity to confront anyone with facts or to conclusively demonstrate through direct questioning the falsity and distortion of these hearsay insinuations. The unfairness of having to rebut second-hand rumor without the opportunity to demolish these defamations directly should be apparent to any fair-minded person. Moreover, most of the allegations ultimately made have nothing to do with the original assertion on the petition Mr. Geroux circulated of "undermining a lawsuit filed by the Tribal Council." The unfairness of having to address matters entirely outside the scope of the original petition should also be clear to any unbiased decision-maker.
Finally, Ricky Geroux read a letter into the record, ostensibly written by him, which was and has never been provided to us. The unfairness of having to attempt to respond to something that one has never seen should likewise shock this committee.
As I will demonstrate, these and other improprieties by Mr. Geroux, constitute an attempt to deprive both this committee and me of a fair hearing. The totality of the circumstances surrounding this hearing violate due process as guaranteed to me under the Indian Civil Rights Act.
II. I did not undermind any lawsuit.
First. Mr. Geroux has never been clear about just what lawsuit I am supposed to have interfered with. He attaches a letter from Malcolm Harris which only mentions an appeal to the Sixth Circuit which involved the Marquette Casino. However, that cannot be the lawsuit referred to by the Petition because it was not filed by the Tribal Council. Moreover, Malcolm Harris never insinuates anything in his letter about being asked to distance himself from any lawsuit. Nor does he say anything about it other than that I asked about the status of the appeal. Obviously, any Tribal Council member has the right and duty to inquire about the status of an appeal involving the Tribe. Thus, this cannot be the lawsuit referred to by Mr. Geroux. Mr. Harris' letter was included in the supposed "evidence" against me as a red-herring designed to obscure the lack of any real proof of wrong-doing. In short, Mr. Geroux is either completely confused or is maliciously trying to invent something evil without the slightest basis. Whichever it is, Mr. Geroux's behavior as instigator of these slanderous charges is appalling.
Second. At the hearing, Mr. Geroux stated that the lawsuit that I am supposed to have undermined was the case filed by Joseph O'Leary against the BIA filed in Federal District Court. No evidence whatsoever is presented in support of this astounding claim. Mr. Harris' letter fails to even mention this lawsuit. Likewise, Mr. O'Leary's letter fails to mention it. It is unclear what if anything I am supposed to have done in relation to this lawsuit. Moreover, this lawsuit was dismissed by the Tribe. Mr. O'Leary told the L'Anse Sentinel, December 18, 1996 that it was "dropped for strategic purposes." We should take Mr. O'Leary at his word. Plainly, there is nothing in any of this that indicates that I have done anything to affect this lawsuit. It is impossible to respond to such vague allegations. Since I did not have anything to do with this lawsuit, I cannot have undermined it in any way. Moreover, I had nothing to do with its dismissal. Once again, Mr. Geroux simply throws things up against the wall desperately hoping that in the confusion he can get something to stick.
Third. Mr. Geroux attempts to make the case that my participation in a lawsuit against the BIA is somehow a part of this. Since I began that as an administrative matter before the BIA and prior to my election to the Tribal Council, it cannot be construed as misconduct. I have a constitutional right to petition the courts. Such allegations cannot be a part of any impeachment proceeding. Moreover, legislators frequently sue to test the legality of governmental actions. I have the same right that any other citizen or legislator has to petition the courts.
In short, the major allegation against me, and the only allegation set forth in the original petition that was circulated, is demonstrably false and appears to be manufactured by Mr. Geroux's confused and malicious mind. It should be rejected out of hand.
III. O'Leary's letter is grossly distorted; has no relevance to the original Pettion; contains rank speculation; and fails to show that I did anything wrong.
A. O'Leary's assertion that I asked him to represent me personally is false.
Mr. O'Leary notes that I approached him about the fact that I was not receiving notice of Council meetings. However, he completely misconstrues my approach to him by suggesting that I was trying to get him to represent me. I was not seeking personal representation in either my official or private capacities. Rather, I approached him in his capacity as chief law enforcement officer of the tribe, occupying a position comparable to that of attorney general, and requested his action to secure the rights, under the tribal constitution , not only of myself but of all present and future members of the Tribal Council. My request that Mr. O'Leary as chief law enforcement officer of the community, enforce the rights of duly elected members of the Tribal Council created no conflict with his obligations as chief law enforcement officer of the tribe. I was asking him merely to discharge the fundamental obligation of his office, to uphold the tribal constitution.
Mr. O'Leary did not have the integrity to appear to say this about me in person. He did not present himself for questioning. One can only assume that he knows that his distortions would be revealed if he were to answer my questions.
B. The Speculation That I Leaked Mr. O'leary's Memo to Ffj Has Been Shown
to Be False.
As Chris Swartz told the committee he was the likely source of the leak. O'Leary acknowledges that he is simply speculating. Enough said. Evidence cannot be based upon rank speculation.
C. Mr O'leary's Hearsay and Speculations Are Irrelevant to the Original Petition and it Is Unfair to Raise New Issues That Do Not Pertain to the Original Petition
Mr. O'Leary, who is a member of the bar and who should know better than to pile the irrelevant upon speculation, states in his letter that he is aware that it will be used in my impeachment proceedings. It should suffice to point out that none of his comments relate to the petition that was circulated against me. Mr. O'Leary of all persons should be sensitive to the unfairness of his irrelevant, speculative and distorted hearsay musings.
D. The Statement That I Made Derogatory Statements about Fred Dakota Are
Distorted and Easily Explainable
As I explained to the Committee, Mr. Harris asked me what I thought about what I felt about Fred Dakota and the turmoil going on. I answered his question and told him that he did not want to negotiate. That is what happened and were Mr. Harris here to discuss the matter I am certain that this would come out. Again, nothing that I did or said was wrong in any way. And, a careful reading of Mr. Harris' letter discloses that it did not undermine any lawsuit, nor were my statements intended to undermine any lawsuit, nor could they have.
E. O'leary's Comment That He Could Not Comment upon the Existence of Any
Bar Complaint Makes That a Non- Issue
Since there is only a non-allegation here there is nothing to defend. If Mr. O'Leary wants to make some positive allegation I will respond to it.
IV. I Gave Only Accurate Information to the Press about the Retirement
First, this allegation - that I gave false information about the retirement account - occurred in Mr. Geroux's letter, read to the Committee, which was never given to me. So I only have my memory of what was said. I have here to defend myself against hearsay allegations, read into the record and never provided to me.
The truth is that the Tribe was considering a retirement plan that would have allowed withdrawals of up to $180,000. I was advised that, if this were adopted, it would bankrupt the tribe. There was nothing confidential about any of this. Moreover, as a Tribal Council Member I had an obligation to bring this to the attention of the people. I cannot be impeached for doing the right thing. If I am impeached for doing my constitutional duty, then something is desperately wrong.
Moreover, nothing was said about this in the original petition. So to use this is unfair and misguided.
IV. These Proceedings Are Fundamentally Flawed and Violate My Due Process
Rights under the Indian Civil Rights Act
These proceedings violate my due process rights for the following reasons:
1. The original petition was only given me 6 days before the hearing. I did not have adequate notice of the charges and did not have sufficient time to prepare.
2. The names of my accusers were never given to me.
3. The supposed evidence was entirely hearsay. The distortions, speculations and defamations contained therein could not be exposed through questioning.
4. I was not given a copy of the rules of the proceedings until the day of the proceedings.
5. The less biased press was excluded from the proceedings and only the press that is beholden to the Tribe and its advertising were permitted to attend.
6. The names of the Committee members were never given to me.
7. Ricky Geroux's hearsay letter was never given to me. I have to respond to it from memory.
8. Witnesses called on my behalf were interrupted and not permitted to speak. Several had pertinent comments that were cut-off by the chair because he did not wish to hear it.
9. I was not allowed to confront Joseph O'Leary to confront his distortions, speculations and misleading hearsay comments.
10. Likewise, I was not allowed to confront Mr. Harris. While his letter was not distorted in the same sense as Mr. O'Leary's letter, it needed to have been clarified and had he been available - even if by telephone - that letter could have been clarified along the lines outlined above.
11. The Impeachment Committee is not an impartial body as required by the Indian Civil Rights Act. Tim Shanahan, Committee Chair, is Fred Dakota's personal assistant. Clarence Chosa is the father of a Tribal Council member.
I am being impeached for fulfilling my obligations as a Tribal Council Member. None of my actions were improper and they have provided no evidence that I have done anything wrong. An impeachment cannot be based solely upon hearsay, speculation, distortions and innuendo. As evidence that I have the support and confidence of those that I represent a petition supporting me was circulated. In only five hours 83 signatures were obtained. This petition was presented at the hearing but the Committee refused to accept it.
I have done nothing to deserve impeachment. These proceedings should be dismissed.
Gary Loonsfoot, Sr.
Monday Febuary 17, 1997
Historical Tribal Center Building Demolished
Another chapter was added Monday 02/17/97 to the annals of the political unrest here at KBIC. The tribal center and former orphanage was demolished by a crew contracted out of Marquette, MI.
This imbecilic act was by order of the KBIC Tribal Council, less the vote and knowledge of Council member Gary F. Loonsfoot Sr. (see related story on Gary).
The Council reported to the media that the safety and health concerns of the public were the motivating factor in their decision to tear down the building. Wayne Swartz, the Tribal Council's vice-chair and right hand "yes man" of federally indicted KBIC Tribal Chairman Fred Dakota, was on WLUC TV6 News on Monday 02/17/97 stating, among other fabrications, that the water pipes and plumbing were completely destroyed . . . .
The council, in all of their countless and fruitless efforts, have tried to undermine the support FFJ has received over that last 18 months through fabrications such as this.
In addition to the horrific lies about FFJ trashing the building, the council previously fabricated stories that FFJ sold all the computer equipment, air conditioners, etc. The U.S. Government can attest to the accountability of the computer equipment. As for the air conditioners, they were taken out of the windows and left in the respective offices once winter set in. As for the water pipes bursting as reported by Fred's no.1 "yes man" Wayne, those pipes were drained in the Fall of 1995, before winter set in.
So, one has to wonder what ingenious ploy the KBIC Tribal Council will arrive at next. Could it be the demolition of Fr. John's home, or maybe the church, or our sacred sweat lodges, perhaps even the U.S. Federal Courthouse where the council's very own chairman is set to stand trial for corruption in just a few short weeks.
Impeachment Hearing Headed by Dakota's Assistant
by VANESSA DIETZ
Houghton Daily Mining Gazette
Baraga - Those concerned about charges of "gross neglect of duty and improper conduct" against Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Councilman Gary Loonsfoot Sr. will have two weeks to make written comments to be included in the KBIC Impeachment Committee report.
The committee will give the report to the tribal council within 30 days. The comments are to be sent to Loonsfoot or Rick Geroux, KBIC Enrollment Committee chairman, who presented the charges and the 53-signature complaint against Loonsfoot at a Wednesday impeachment hearing in KBIC Tribal Court.
The impeachment committee is made up of five tribal members, independent of the tribal council, who will collect information about the charges and submit a report to the tribal council.
The council then will decide Loonsfoot's fate.
Tribal Chairman Fred Dakota's personal assistant Tim Shanahan chairs the committee. Donald Funke announced at the proceeding that he was a committee member after former councilwoman Myrtle Tolonen asked him point-blank to identify himself. Other members are said to be Joan DesRochers, Art Gerard and Clarence "Buck" Chosa, who is KBIC councilwoman Amy St. Arnold's father.
Shanahan and Geroux identified themselves as "Friends of Fred," in an invitation to a fund raiser for the chairmans defense fund.
Committee members were reportedly reluctant to disclose their identity at the proceeding: others were asked and declined to answer. Both Loonsfoot and his attorney Alan Clark previously requested the names of the panel members.
In addition, Loonsfoot and Clark have both requested a copy of the petition against Loonsfoot, but have yet to see it.
Loonsfoot heard allegations against him during the first hour of the hearing, at which time a two-hour recess was called to allow him time to prepare his defense. The court re-adjourned from 1-2:15 p.m.
Following the proceeding, Clark told The Gazette, "Gary defended himself. He was good. He was strong. He's a leader."
The issues were addressed point-by-point, including additional accusations that stemmed from a Feb. 1 letter Loonsfoot sent to tribal members. He questioned the necessity of putting up a defense against allegations that are not part of the original charges against him. The committee said it accepted anything brought forward even if it did not relate to the original charges, Loonsfoot told The Gazette.
KBIC attorney Joseph O'Leary was not in tribal court Wednesday, but stated in a letter presented to the committee that Loonsfoot asked him to represent him "against the rest of the tribal council in order to take legal steps to correct the 'unfair' treatment...I refused to sign the contract and tried to explain to Mr. Loonsfoot that my client was the tribal council of the KBIC, not any individual members of the tribal council. I also pointed out to Mr. Loonsfoot that the accusations and legal positions of an organization such as the tribal council are dictated by the majority of the council members, not the beliefs of any one council member."
O'Leary also alleged that Loonsfoot supplied a confidential memo of O'Leary's to Fight For Justice, the dissident group that protests governmental policies.
Tribal member Chris Swartz testified he found the memo in his mailbox when he was a tribal police officer. Swartz said he called O'Leary to ask him how it got there. Swartz said O'Leary told him he could do whatever he wanted with it and that O'Leary thought FFJ had a copy of it. Swartz said he gave his uncle, FFJ spokesman Jerry Lee Curtis, a copy of the memo.
Loonsfoot said he asked O'Leary to ask the other tribal council members to inform him of meetings, information he said he often did not receive. Clark called the contents of O'Leary's letter a "distorted view," adding if he were cross-examined it would have been apparent.
"Even though I did not feel I had to respond to the frivolous additional charges, I did so anyway out of respect for the committee and a desire to vindicate myself," Loonsfoot told The Gazette this morning.
Following the proceedings, FFJ reported KBIC Tribal Police, accompanied by tribal construction's front-end loader, again closed the road to the former tribal center and the adjacent church land to allow two additional people to videotape at the center.
Tribe Selectively Limits Media Access to Hearing
By VANESSA DIETZ
Houghton Daily Mining Gazette
Baraga - The Gazette was excluded from Wednesday's Keweenaw Bay Indian Community public hearing on the impeachment of Tribal Councilman Gary Loonsfoot Sr.
That couldn't legally happen in most instances here. But the tribe is a special case.
Lisa Mikalonis, an attorney with the Michigan Press Association, noted that the tribes are sovereign nations, immune to state sunshine laws which permit the media to observe public meetings and hearings in order to inform the public.
"The laws provide a method of observing government activities, the activities of elected officials," Mikalonis explained.
There is nothing illegal about picking and choosing media permitted to observe tribal proceedings, but the issue is troublesome in another respect, the attorney said.
"The tribe's exclusion of media that serve a Native American community that is represented by a tribal council, represents a disservice to the people. To shut out any media is to shut out its readership, including the tribal members represented by the tribal council," Mikalonis said.
In an apparent response to The Gazette's repeated requests for clarification about media access, KBIC spokesman Rich Rossway, a former TV6 employee, issued a press release Monday, stating, "The KBIC Tribal Council has instructed the review committee to allow certain members of the media into the hearing concerning complaints filed against councilman Gary Loonsfoot.
"Due to limited space in tribal court, logistics dictate that not all members of the press will be able to be accommodated. We understand the interest, and encourage the press to allow the constitutional process to take its rightful course.
"The KBIC will make available to the press that information deemed appropriate as soon as possible," Rossway concluded.
The Gazette unsuccessfully attempted to attend the Wednesday tribal court proceeding. It has on many other occasions been present in the court.
A tribal court employee said three press organizations were given passes to the event: TV6 News of Marquette; Paul Peterson, a local news stringer previously employed by the tribe, and the L'Anse Sentinel.
Although a man offered his seat to The Gazetter reporter, the court representative
said he had his orders and they included not allowing any other press except
the three already permitted entry.
Below is some experts from the Houghton Mining Gazette by Vanessa Dietz
Don Carlson, a disenrolled KBIC member is charged with shining deer on private property. Assistant Prosector Fraser Strome said Natural Resources airborne officers observed Carlson shining deer and began tracking him in Houghton County. He was stopped by DNR officers on the road just inside Ontonagon County.
Attorney Alan Clark, who represents Carlson, said the treaties of 1842 and 1854 permit Native Americans to hunt on public land. And he believes Carlson was unlawfully disenrolled and therefore has forfeited his treaty rights and should be able to hunt without state regulation anywhere in the ceded territories.
"We are alleging he was shining on private property," Strome told the Mining Gazette. "And, whether he's Indian or not, does he have a right to shine on private land. That's the issue Judge Kukkonen will have to decide."
Clark asked 97th District Court Judge Phil Kukkonen to dismiss the charges against Carlson on the basis that he was shining deer on public land - an allowable activity for Native Americans.
Strome contends the shinning took place on private property.
Testimony Monday. Feb 1 centered on the airborne DNR officers observations, in which he said he saw Carlson and Marilyn Loonsfoot shinning deer.
Loonsfoot, a KBIC member faces trial in tribal court. A Jan, 31 hearing was canceled. Briefs are die Friday Feb. 14, 1997. The trail is set for Thursday Feb 20th.
Carlson's case will be scheduled later, Strome said, because motions have to be filed and responded to.
Without conceding that Carlson and Loonsfoot were on private land, Clarke commented that if the judge decides Carlson was on private land, two other issues will be raised: Does a Native American have the right to hunt on private land when sighs indicating such are not posted and on which hunting is permitted or are Native Americans subject to state regulations if they are hunting on private land?
Clarke said while some other states have judicial interpretations on Native Americans hunting rights, Michigan does not. If there is an appeal to the higher state court, the decision could set state law, Clarke said.
Carlson and Loonsfoot are not the only KBIC affiliated people defending deer shinning charges on alleged private lands. Two other defendants, KBIC Donald Koski and his son Daniel Koski, faced similar charges today in 98th District Court in Ontonagon.
Apparently these people are friends of Dakota, for he has been quoted "I think we have to pay more attention to these cases... and I believe we have to lend some legal assistance." So, now tribal attorneys are going to lend assistance to Donald Koski case. but not FFJ people for the same offense.
P R E S S R E L E A S E
Saying it's so doesn't make it so. Not even if you're a highly paid KBIC media spokesperson. Rich Rossway's staged media event on Tuesday was just that. FFJ abandoned the Tribal Center last Dec. 17, when Tribal Police raided it and the Most Holy Name of Jesus Church convent and rectory, breaking down the bedroom door of Father John Hascall who has been providing us with sanctuary. As reported in the L'Anse Sentinel of 29 January, we openly invited federally-indicted Fred Dakota and his faction to come in and take whatever they want. Yet the need for Dakota to convey the impression he is back in "control" was pressing. His trial in Federal court for corruption is due to start shortly. Former TV 6 employee Rich Rossway set out to secure that illusion of control. We offer the sequence of events, for the benefit of those who have supported us and continue to do so. We hope that the media will give it the same attention that it gave to Rich Rossway's version of events.
On 31 January, shortly after Fred Dakota and Tim Shanahan entered the Center to retrieve certain files, 5 tribal police cars entered Assinins. They blocked the road leading to the Church, and proceeded to the Tribal Center where they spent over an hour. Members of FFJ never entered the building again after their visit, out of concern that the police booby- trapped it. Until that time the Tribal Center was in good order. We have pictures to prove this. They were taken after Dakota and Shanahan entered the building, when we anticipated something like this deliberate trashing would be attempted.
An informant told us of a meeting that took place at Tim Shanahan's house, when Dakota's hard-core made their plans to trash the building and bring in TV 6. On Tuesday 4 February, six Tribal Police Cars and 3 red KBIC maintenance trucks entered Assinins. The road was blocked off once again. After an hour or so, they all left. It was important to Dakota that all this take place on the eve of another staged event...the so-called impeachment hearing of independent Tribal Councilman Gary Loonsfoot which was headed by Shanahan - Fred's personal assistant. A declaration that the struggle was over would distract attention from the mockery of due process that was shortly to take place. The police sealed off the building, and Channel 6 was ushered in. After the filming, everyone - including the Tribal Police - vacated the building. Members of FFJ observed all of this from the church grounds.
The building remains empty and abandoned as we write. We're done with the place but we're not done with the protest. In addition to the on-going court cases in the Western District of Michigan as well as in the kangaroo tribal court presided over by Judges Dakota and Gurski, we are calling for the impeachment of our federally-indicted Tribal Chair. The struggle continues, and will continue until all those who have been disenfranchised are returned to the voting rolls.
Senior's ripped off again.
The KBIC Seniors take a trip every year. This year, the spot is Cancun, Mexico. The trip is scheduled to leave February 6th. For seniors to be eligible to go, they must be a member of the Senior Citizen Center with their due's current. To be a member of the center you must be a member of the KBIC and be at least 55 years old, your spouse maybe a member even if they are non-Indian and/or under 55, so long as you meet the requirements.
Every year the Tribal Council donates money to help the seniors with their trip, IE spending money, food money etc... This year the Tribal Council said "NO" to spending money. Most seniors had to take their names off the list. They could not afford to pay for their food and such with their fixed income.
But, when Fred Dakota along with Tim Shanahan & wife, whose age is in the early-forties and Alan (Rat) Rajacic & wife, in his mid-forties and Richard (Ricky) Geroux Sr., late forties and even a non-Indian and his non-Indian wife, Willard Coffey signed up to go, the Tribal Council than agreed to give them spending money. The seniors who had previously taken their names off the list weren't allowed to put them back on.
But one good thing that happened was when Fred asked the Federal Court for permission to attend the trip, he was denied. Fred is on bond and must ask for permission from the court when he wishes to leave the district. Will Fred's friends now drop out also? One also wonders if the Tribal council will now rescind the money.
I have been told by sources that Tim and his wife aparently did not go on this trip, but Susan LaFeriner wife of council member Mike LaFeriner also went on the trip.
On March 24 Fred Dakota will stand trail for fraud and corruption in Federal District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The charges include the taking of kickbacks for gaming machines at an inflated price to KBIC from companies associated with organized crime. Dakota's corrupt leadership is ending and he knows it. He will now try to maintain power through followers. The chair of the unjust impeachment committee, Tim Shanahan has said that it makes no difference if Fred goes to prison because "I will be here." Thus, Dakota and his followers attempt to retain a desperate hold on power.
Dakota once approached me and said "Gary, you are my number one adversary." He is now trying to remove and discredit me. He and his followers have started bogus impeachment proceedings beginning February 5, 1997. By attempting to discredit me, their aim is to remove me from any political activity now and in the future. They hope this will enable Dakota to rule from prison and insure his return. Dakota cannot allow any challenge to his leadership.
Since I have been a member of the Tribal Council, Dakota and his followers have consistently undermined my ability to represent the people of this Tribe. From the very start, they have repeatedly failed to notify me of meetings, excluded me from meetings, withheld information from me that should have been available to anyone, and met in secret. When I asked the Tribal Attorney, Joseph O'Leary, to insure that all council members receive notification of meetings, he refused. What do they have to hide?
Unlike Dakota, I have always placed the good of the people first. None of my actions have been for personal gain. In fact, I have taken considerable abuse for my efforts to protect the interests of the Tribe. And the charges that they have made are completely without foundation. The charges are not only false but the impeachment procedures are plainly unfair.
These are kangaroo proceedings.
This is how they are treating me. How has the Tribal Council responded to Dakota and to what he has done? The Detroit Free Press exposed the extent of Fred Dakota's corruption on march 22nd. We learned that Federal Agents were "probing Dakota's link to IGM" which "has ties to the Genovese and Gambino organized crime family in New York." Until this article most of us were unaware that Dakota was taking undisclosed "consulting fees" from a company operated by organized crime. We simply had no idea that our Tribal Chair was dragging this tribe and its casino into organized crime. Do you remember how the Tribal council promised just a few months earlier that if they learned Fred had acted in ways that were not in the Tribe's best interest they would remove him? Yet despite this promise, and this hard evidence of corruption, the present Tribal Council members continued to support Dakota. The fact that the Tribal Attorney warned Fred 3 times that he had to disclose his arrangement to get monies from IGM to the Tribal Council, only underlines the extent of the corruption.
In July, Dakota was at long last indicted for corruption. Specifically, he is charged with taking kickbacks of $125,000 from IGM and income tax evasion. This money rightfully belongs to the Tribe - you and I - not Fred Dakota. Yet the present Tribal Council has done nothing to distance themselves from him or his actions. And they are currently attempting to impeach the one Council member who has asked the questions that have had to be asked.
The events that occurred in the early morning hours of December 17 painfully reveal the true nature of the current leadership of this tribe. The raid by KBIC Tribal Police on the Most Holy Name of Jesus Church grounds - including the rectory and the convent - has shocked the entire community and indeed the entire Upper Peninsula. It shamefully demonstrates the Tribal Council's refusal to pursue a peaceful resolution of the current situation.
Other tribes have managed to solve their membership disputes far more quickly and honorably. Both Mt. Pleasant and Watersmeet have resolved the membership disputes on their reservation. It has been over two years and we still have not solved the dispute that is destroying our community and our tribe. What have Dakota and his fraction gained by prolonging this dispute?
So who should be impeached? Me, for trying to help resolve the dispute, to protect tribal interests, and to reunite our people? Or Dakota - for dividing the community, for giving organized crime an entry, and for fostering violence and intimidation?
I have done my best to represent you honestly. I will continue to do so for as long as I am on the Tribal Council. And no matter what happens I will keep fighting for the best interest of our Tribe.
Sincerely, Gary Loonsfoot
To read a brief summary of FFJ and it's begining read Tina Lam's Detorit Free Press article