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Published October 25, 2013, 06:11 PM

Spirit Lake recall election favors secretary

Spirit Lake Tribal Members gathered Friday for yet another recall election, the third on the reservation this year. Tribal Secretary Nancy Greene-Robertson's seat on the tribal council was at stake this time.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Spirit Lake Tribal Members gathered Friday for yet another recall election, the third on the reservation this year. Tribal Secretary Nancy Greene-Robertson's seat on the tribal council was at stake this time.

Nancy survived the recall election, the latest chapter in a long power struggle on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

The vote was in Robertson's favor -- 260-156. But despite that result, support for her was far from unanimous.

Lolly: "Enough people decided that they had cause to do it, and if they think they had cause to do it they had every right to come in and say it," said Lolly Diez.

Petitioners questioned whether she has the right Sioux ancestry to be a tribal member, and claimed she denied social impact payments to tribal members, something she says she can't do.

Nancy: "I don't have that say. That's the council's say, and it's actually profit from the casino. I have no control over that."

Tribal members say this recall election wasn't Necessarily about Nancy Greene-Robertson, but rather about a larger power struggle that's been going on for years on the reservation.

Former Chairman Roger Yankton was recalled in July. Newly-elected council member Mardell Lewis survived a recall last month.

New Tribal Chairman Russ McDonald says to give new tribal leaders time to prove themselves.

Russ: "Give them a chance to do their work. Give them a chance to get something done before recalling them."

But new leaders do say tribal members are siding with them, as evidenced by today's election results.

"People spoke today. They want change, and that's what they're here for," said Robertson.

Tribal chairman Russ McDonald says he hopes the council is done with recalls for a while, but we talked to tribal members today who predict there will be another recall election within a month.

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