Native Sun News Today: Incumbents ousted in Northern Cheyenne Tribe primary election

L. Jace Killsback is one of two candidates for president of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana. Photo by Eugene Little Coyote

Northern Cheyenne Tribal Primary Election Results
By Clara Caulfield
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

LAME DEER, Mont. –– Experienced tribal leaders did well at the polls in the October 6, 2016 primary election for tribal council positions at Northern Cheyenne.

Of the 16 candidates advancing to the general election in November, nine have held office in previous years. The two top current incumbents, tribal president Llevando “Cowboy” Fisher and Vice-President Winfield Russell, however did not win their re-election bids.

Out of a field of eleven candidates for tribal president, veteran tribal politicians L. Jace Killsback and Tracy Robinson were separated by only 2 votes as the top vote getters who will advance to the general election in November, Killsback winning 248 votes as compared to Robinson’s 246.

Both candidates have previously served two terms on the tribal council, Killsback, currently the tribal health director is from the Busby district and Robinson, a local rancher from Ashland. During their tenures on the tribal council, both candidates have served on and chaired numerous tribal committees.

Tracy Robinson is one of two candidates for president of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana. Photo courtesy A Cheyenne Voice

Killsback, who gained a college degree from U.S. Berkeley, California also currently serving on the National Indian Health Board has demonstrated a keen interest in tribal health and land issues, previously chairing the tribal Land Authority where he was instrumental in the Northern Cheyenne land purchases and cultural preservation efforts at Bear Butte. Robinson has focused much of his efforts on economic development working closely with the tribal housing authority and also chairing the budget/finance and agenda committees. The agenda committee determines which items are placed on the bi-weekly tribal council agendas for discussion or action.

In the race for tribal vice-president, political newcomer Rueben Littlehead, Ashland was the overall top voter gaining 414 votes in comparison to the 347 won by Conrad Fisher. Littlehead, a popular and well-known pow wow announcer, also has a master’s degree and he has dedicated much of his professional work to education, and as a tribal cultural teacher.

Fisher, who is now serving his second term representing the Lame Deer district is also college educated and formerly was the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. Both candidates have dedicated much of their professional lives to tribal historical, cultural and language preservation. If not successful in the vice-presidential race, the tribal constitution will allow Fisher to complete the remainder of his term (two years) as a Lame Deer council representative.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Northern Cheyenne Tribal Primary Election Results

(Contact Clara Caufield at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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