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Published April 15, 2013, 06:19 PM

Spirit Lake Nation swears in new chairman

The spirit lake nation swore in a new tribal chairman today. Russell McDonald was elected Sunday at a general assembly as tribal members voted to oust Roger Yankton from the chairman position.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

The spirit lake nation swore in a new tribal chairman today. Russell McDonald was elected Sunday at a general assembly as tribal members voted to oust Roger Yankton from the chairman position.

Even though McDonald was sworn in today, his supporters say there's still working to ensure Yankton can't make a claim to the job. Tribal members lined up to sign a petition to officially kick Yankton out of office. The Spirit Lake constitution says a petition is needed to remove elected officials. Petition circulators are urging tribal members to take a stand against Yankton.

Erich Longie, Tribal Elder: "There are people who are scared to sign it. They are afraid of who's going to look at it, and I don't blame them. So, what I promise, if you come sign it, I will not share the petition with anyone until I turn it in."

Despite what the Spirit Lake constitution says, tribal members say today's ceremony is legal and that previous tribal leaders have been removed by a vote of a general assembly.

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