Editorial: Grand Traverse leader George Bennett was inspiration

George Bennett, 1928-2014

Michigan newspaper pays tribute to the late George Bennett, a former chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians who died in December at the age of 86:
George Bennett was remembered as a fighter who helped lead the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians through some of its most tumultuous — and successful — times.

In his years as Tribal Chairman and his 20 years on the tribal council, Bennett had plenty of battles to fight.

Bennett died on his 86th birthday Dec. 9, in Granite Falls, Minn. The Grand Traverse Band planned to host memorial events for him Saturday. Bennett served as Tribal Chairman from 1996 to 2000, and served on the council for 20 years. His tenure was marked by an expansion of casinos and tribal services and difficulties with federal courts.

He was one of the tribal leaders who successfully worked to get federal recognition for the band in 1980. The band developed the Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg and the Sands Showroom nightclub addition to the Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown under Bennett.

Tribal member John Bailey viewed Bennett as a friend and a mentor who bought his experience as a boxer to his tribal jobs. “He had that psyche of being a fighter and getting things done,” Bailey said.

Get the Story:
Editorial: George Bennett led, inspired (The Traverse City Record-Eagle 1/11)

Also Today:
Memorial held for Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians former chairman (Up North Live 1/10)
Memorial service held for Former Grand Traverse Tribal Chairman (9&10 News 1/10)
Memorial for tribal leader (The Traverse City Record-Eagle 1/7)
Community Set To Honor Tribal Leader (The Traverse City Ticker 1/7)

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