RED WING, Minnesota (KTTC) – The new Prairie Indian Community Tribal Council was sworn in on Sunday. After serving for two years, the board welcomed new members, welcomed back honored alumni.
“I wish them wisdom and protection and I also want to thank the board who just completed their term, including Vice President Lu Taylor,” said General Counsel Jessie Seim.
Taylor served 10 terms on the board and members said she served her community well. On Sunday, four former board members returned to the board and one member was added, Cody Whitebear, who serves as assistant secretary and treasurer.
“To have the responsibility of leading this great tribe is something I wasn’t sure I had the privilege and honor to experience,” Whitebear said.
Valentina Mgeni has been chosen to serve as secretary, and Michael Childs Jr. is the new treasurer. Returning member Shelly Buck will take on the role of Vice-President after serving as President for the last term.
“I sit on every board or committee and have done everything that was asked of me to make sure our story is finally heard,” Buck said.
Johnny Johnson is the new president of the Tribal Council.
“I look forward to this opportunity to represent the next two years as President,” Johnson said.
Many returning board members have spoken about the difficulty of serving on the board during the pandemic. They had to shut down their businesses for two and a half months and put 90 percent of their workers on leave.
“There is no doubt that the past two years have been chaotic for all of us and Prairie Island is no different. We have faced many challenges, many of which stem from the COVID-19 pandemic, ”Buck said.
“Also Wopidatanka to all Tribal Government employees including Dakota Station and Treasure Island employees for your continued support and a job well done during an incredible pandemic,” Johnson said.
Only immediate family were able to attend the ceremony in person due to COVID restrictions, but other friends and family zoomed into the ceremony to welcome the new council.
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