Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Democracy in Indian Country: Yeah, Right!


The election season in northern Minnesota Indigenous territories was especially contentious this year. Primary election results were contested in all six Minnesota Chippewa Tribe territories. Everyone who contested lost.

In the Leech Lake territory the contest went as far as the Tribal Appeals Court. At issue were key questions regarding the conduct of candidates and the use of unauthorized voting practices. Some candidates were engaged in vote buying, electioneering, voter intimidation and illegal use of absentee ballots. A completely unauthorized voting practice termed “On-Demand” ballots and voting was employed. Neither the Leech Lake Council nor the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Tribal Executive Committee or the Election Ordinance gave permission for such a practice. Yet the Contest Judge and the Appeals Judges acted as though these practices had some legitimacy in their rulings.



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