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Published April 14, 2013, 08:35 PM

Chairman is voted out in the Spirit Lake Nation

(WDAY TV) -- Turmoil continues in the Spirit Lake Nation, A General Assembly came together today for a special meeting and voted to oust Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ, WDAY

(WDAY TV) -- Turmoil continues in the Spirit Lake Nation, A General Assembly came together today for a special meeting and voted to oust Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton.

This comes just 4 days after tribal elders voted to kick out the entire council.

With a near unanimous majority.

Donovan Robertson/Tribal Member: "I would like to make the motion to remove our chairman."

Tribal members voted to oust chairman Roger Yankton at an emergency general assembly. Yankton didn't attend the meeting.

Erich Longie/Tribal Elder: "I asked them in a good way to be here, all of them."

His absence highlighted what tribal members call a lack of accountability from the council.

Erich: "There was no general assembly for eight months, and all we wanted to do was ask the council to do their job, and call a general assembly."

Erich: "I hear horror stories about them taking our money from the casino all the time. I don't know if that's true, but I can't question them."

The assembly voted in a new chairman... Russ McDonald, V-P of Academics at Cankdeska Cikana Community College.

Russ: "I'm a full supporter of what happened today. I'm not in full agreement of some of the decisions that were made by out council."

But McDonald warns that a simple vote might not be enough to change tribal leadership.

Russ: "If we were to go to court on this, the chair would legally stay in office."

The Spirit Lake Constitution says a petition is needed to remove the chairman...Tribal members are working on covering their bases.

Erich: "If we need to go a petition route, I'll be writing one up tonight just in case."

Opponents of Yankton are expecting a fierce legal fight over the vote. But for today, they're glad people on the spirit lake nation are finally speaking up.

Donovan: "If that's what it took to get people together, then I'm glad that it happened."

Despite what the Spirit Lake constitution says, several tribal members say previous leaders have been removed by a popular vote at a general assembly.

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