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Spirit Lake Tribal Chairman will face recall vote

Spirit Lake Tribal Chairman Russ McDonald2 / 2

The fate of the Tribal Chairman of the Spirit Lake Nation will be decided by the people at a recall meeting scheduled for next week.

The tribe's election board verified a petition calling for the chairman's removal that was turned in yesterday.

We talked to tribal chairman Russ McDonald Tuesday afternoon and he says bring on the recall vote.

McDonald says he had been hearing rumors of a recall petition circulating for a while, but he still doesn't know why some tribal member want him out.

Petition supporters would not talk to WDAZ Monday, and multiple tribal members declined to discuss the controversy Tuesday.

McDonald himself assumed office last year after a recall. Tribal members voted to oust then-chairman Roger Yankton.

Since then, McDonald says he's steered the tribe in a better direction.

Spirit Lake Tribal Chairman Russ McDonald said, "I'm hoping the people will see we've done enough work in the last year and also have been putting things in place that are gonna make things better for our people."

Obviously McDonald wants to keep his seat, but he says he'll abide by the wishes of the people if he is voted out.

McDonald says the recall vote will being at 10 AM next Monday September 22nd, at the Spirit Lake Casino.

Only enrolled tribal members who currently live on the reservation will be eligible to vote.

Adam Ladwig

Adam Ladwig joined WDAZ as the Devils Lake bureau reporter in January, 2012. Prior to that he reported for KDUH-TV in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Adam has won multiple awards during his time at WDAZ, including an Eric Sevareid award and a Regional Emmy Award as part of team coverage during the search for Anthony Kuznia.  A Colorado native, Adam graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Journalism. He misses the Rocky Mountains, but the kind people of North Dakota more than make up for that. He is thrilled to be in the Lake Region, telling stories that matter. In his spare time, Adam is usually futilely attempting to get in shape, or cheering for his beloved Denver Broncos.