The June 2 swearing in of Leah Sprague-Fodor as chairperson of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, the Gun Lake Tribe, follows more than 20 years of service on the tribal government staff, according to a news release from the Tribe.
“I am honored and proud to serve as the Chairperson of the Tribe,” Sprague-Fodor said.
“My focus will remain on the wellbeing of our elders, our children, and the entire tribal community as one extended family. I look forward to continuing the legacy of leadership handed down to me by our ancestors who worked hard to keep our community together here in our homelands.”
Sprague-Fodor was one of the first two staff members hired by the Tribe in the early 1990s. She held the position of Member Services Director for a majority of her time on the tribal government staff. She was elected to the Tribal Council in 2012 as a representative of the Salem District.
During her time on Tribal Council the Tribe successfully refinanced Gun Lake Casino debt and then paid off the debt entirely; successfully petitioned the U.S. Congress to pass a law to clarify that the Casino parcel was lawfully taken into trust; and opened the Government Campus which serves as the Tribe’s Capitol Building. //
In the last 20 years the Tribe has undergone an incredible transformation. Prior to federal recognition the tribal community had virtually no resources. Today, the Tribe has become a modern tribal government with a staff of over 100 employees that serves the needs of its people through a wide variety of programs and services, the release said.
The Tribal Council consists of Chairperson, Leah Sprague-Fodor; Vice Chairman, Ed Pigeon; Secretary, Phyllis Davis; Treasurer, Kurt Trevan and Bob Peters, Scott Sprague and Jennie Pearl Heeren.
Sprague-Fodor is the daughter of David K. (D.K.) Sprague, who retired from the position of Chairman in January after serving in that role for 24 years.
New Tribal Chairperson Leah Sprague-Fodor