The Northern Cheyenne Tribe’s capitol building in Lame Deer, Montana. Photo: Jimmy Emerson, DVM
Northern Cheyenne women dominate new council
Thursday, November 12, 2020

On November 3, 2020, general election day for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe in Montana, tribal members made history, surprising themselves and many others across the country.

Women were elected to all but one of the open seats: Tribal President, Tribal Vice-President and five Council seats by overwhelming margins. The position of Tribal Trial Judge was retained by incumbent David Roundstone, his the only name on the ballot, however another woman was, by write-in vote elected to hold the other Tribal Judgeship position. These new officials will serve four year terms.

The votes were as follows:

Tribal President: Donna Marie Fisher (825) defeated Gene Small (542). Fisher is a former Tribal Council member.

Tribal Vice-President: Serena Brady Wetherelt (819) defeated Sheldon King (548). Wetherelt is a newcomer to Tribal politics.

Tribal Judge: J. David Roundstone (928). Roundtone was an incumbent.

There were numerous write-in ballots cast for the other Tribal Judge Vacancy, the top vote-getter, Doris Littlewolf, was the top vote-getter in that category with 168 votes. Littlewolf is experienced in the court system.

Tribal Council Seats:
Ashland District: Melissa Rae Fisher (804) defeated Joseph Daniel Littlecoyote, Jr. (546). Fisher has been a tribal employee and district official for years. She is also the daughter of President-elect Donna Fisher.

Birney: Gwen Talawyma (689) defeated Llevando “Cowboy” Fisher (572). Talawyma is also a new comer to politics.

Busby District: Norma Gourneau (740) defeated Eloise Snow (546). Gourneau is a former tribal official, Tribal Vice-President and Council member now retired from the BIA.

Lame Deer District: Silver Little Eagle (890) defeated August “Tiger” Scalpcane (469). Silver, the youngest person elected to the Council is also new to tribal politics, having recently worked at the tribal elderly program.

Muddy District: Debra Watters Charette (786) defeated George Scalpcane (571). Charette is an incumbent Council member and before that was employed as a BIA secretary.

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