Politics

Once rival factions of Chukchansi Tribe agree to 2015 election






The Chuckchansi Tribal Council, one of two rival councils on the Picayune Rancheria. Photo from Facebook

Once rival factions of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians in California agreed to hold an election next year but another group is disputing the plan.

Factions led by Reggie Lewis and Nancy Ayala signed an agreement to establish the "2014 Unification Tribal Council." They want to hold a "clean slate" election in May 2015 to resolve their long-running dispute.

“We are all ready to move on and put the past behind us," Lewis, who is serving as co-chair, said in a press release "We could not have a more dedicated or experienced tribal council in place and the tribe is looking forward to building a better future for our young people and the whole community.”

“This agreement is a historic act by tribal members and several different groups within the tribe to protect the tribe’s future assets for generations to come,” said Ayala, the other co-chair. “Each member of the 2014 Unity Tribal Council has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the tribe. Now we begin the effort of rebuilding the tribe’s relationships with the community and our business partners.”

The agreement was signed on Sunday, The Sierra Star reported. Sometime early Monday -- the unified council started to occupy an office inside the tribe's casino, The Fresno Bee reported, prompting an angry response from a different group of leaders called the Chuckchansi Tribal Council.

This group says the unified council lacks legitimacy and its members boycotted the meeting on Sunday, the Star reported.

Get the Story:
Chukchansi: Lewis faction agrees to "clean slate elections" in May, 2015 (The Sierra Star 8/27)

Related Stories:
Rival factions unite in takeover attempt within Chukchansi Tribe (8/26)
Chukchansi Tribe reportedly goes through leadership takeover (08/08)
New leaders claim to be in control of Chukchansi Tribe council (05/06)
Tex McDonald: Clearing the air about Chukchansi Tribe's leaders (02/20)
BIA issues decision in Chukchansi Tribe leadership dispute (02/12)