A sign at the White Earth Nation in Minnesota. Photo: J. Stephen Conn

White Earth Nation plagued by infighting ahead of primary election

The White Earth Nation is heading into election season and it's not looking pretty.

According to The Detroit Lakes Tribune, Chairman Terry Tibbetts is seeking to censure Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason for allegedly mismanaging a loan program on the reservation in Minnesota. She in turn is accusing him of taking tribal funds.

"I threw this thing together to defend myself," Mason told the paper, explaining why she filed her own censure motion.

Tibbetts and Mason have clashed before. Last fall, he asked the board of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, of which the White Earth Nation is a member, to censure her for alleged abuses of power.

When it came time for a vote, Tibbetts was the only one to vote in favor of the censure, The Duluth News Tribune reported. All of the other members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe abstained, so Mason was cleared.

The drama comes as Mason runs for re-election. She is facing three challengers, one of whom has allied himself with Tibbetts and Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts, a council member who is a distant relative of the chairman.

"Together these candidates hope to bring teamwork back to a tribal council challenged with infighting," Leonard Alan Roy, who is challenging Mason, and two other candidates allied with Chairman Tibbetts said in a news release, The Detroit Lakes Tribune reported.

Tibbetts, though, is not facing re-election this season. In addition to the secretary-treasurer's position, voters will also choose a new representative for the district 1 seat on the council.

The primary takes place April 3. The top vote-getters will advance to a general election on June 12.

As for the dueling censure motions, the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe will convene on March 8 on the White Earth Nation to consider the matter, The Detroit Lakes Tribune reported.

Read More on the Story:
Allegations fly in White Earth: Tribal secretary-treasurer, chairman seek to oust each other (The Detroit Lakes Tribune February 28, 2018)
Three White Earth candidates run as a coalition (The Detroit Lakes Tribune February 24, 2018)
Candidates line up for White Earth Primary (The Detroit Lakes Tribune February 7, 2018)
White Earth Tribe secretary-treasurer exonerated (The Duluth News-Tribune November 22, 2017)