Time Sensitive for Little Shell Members
The VOTE ALISA! Edition
Concerning Special Election for At-Large Tribal Councilmember Position
Boozhoo, indinawemaaganidog! Aaniin! That is to say hello, all of my relatives! Welcome to another edition of An Irritable Métis. This is an unusual one; the bloviations you usually expect from this newsletter will return tomorrow … or maybe the next day. We’ll find out together! But this edition is a Special Time Sensitive Edition exclusively for Little Shell members … and I honestly don’t know how many Little Shell members even read it! But as I now and forever have no social media accounts this seems to be the best trail to take to get the word out. I trust those thousands of you who aren’t enrolled members of the LST1 will bear with me and not vacate in droves for having the audacity to post something that really doesn’t concern you. For those of you who don’t even know what this “Little Shell” stuff is that I’m talking about, you may CLICK HERE for some context2 from the initial post that established this newsletter more than three years ago.
It is my hope that those of you who are Little Shell, or occupy online spaces that include Little Shell people, will share this newsletter! Miigwech in advance!
Here is what is happening:
The Little Shell Tribe are having a special election to fill a recently-vacated seat on the Tribal Council
The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot – in the event you don’t live in Great Falls and can’t vote in person – is TODAY, MARCH 20, 2023!
Please CLICK HERE to request your ballot!
The deadline, once you receive your ballot, is SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2023.
To see more information, and review the candidates (there are two), you may click HERE.
I report all this first because tribal elections are important and we – the LST – don’t do a very good job at communicating. We never have. But mostly, I want to urge folks who can vote to vote for my friend Alisa Herodes. Here’s why:
As long as I’ve been involved with the tribe, Alisa has been volunteering her time on our behalf. Dig all this:
She set up the room for our celebration of federal recognition way back in January, 2020, attended by over 1000 people.
She has largely been responsible for organizing at least three of our powwows, I believe, including last year’s, which was a huge undertaking.
She is working (and has raised a pile of money) to establish a monument at the Catholic cemetary in Lewistown to recognize two big unmarked graves that contain the remains of almost 100 of our ancestors – founders of the community that ultimately became Lewistown – who were dug up and moved when some settler wanted to sell the land they were initially buried in. This is a huge deal.
Finally, and most importantly, I believe the future of Indigenous visibility rests in recognizing the importance of women to our community. We wouldn’t even be a tribe without the efforts of our mothers and aunties and grandmothers and sisters to maintain our kinship networks. Alisa’s opponent is probably a decent guy3, but we don’t need another businessman on the council. Alisa knows business too but, critically, has proven her committment to culture. We need way, way more of that in positions of leadership.
Little Shell friends, please REQUEST YOUR BALLOT.
Please consider casting a vote for Alisa Herodes.
Chi-miigwech in advance for participating in the governing of our tribe. We have a long way to go, and there is so, so much to do. I don’t have a picture of Alisa, but I do have this sweet one she took of me and our tribal chairman, Gerald Gray, at the legendary Sip n’ Dip in Great Falls, in the sweaty wee hours following a pummeling show delivered at the Newberry by the dread American Falcon. Look at Gerald’s shirt! It was his birthday!
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LST = Little Shell Tribe
TL/DR: your Irritable Métis is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, who received federal recognition in 2019 after 150+ years of being known as the “Landless Indians.” We are related to the Turtle Mountain Chippewa of North Dakota; we were historically all one big tribe known as the Pembina Chippewa. We are largely comprised of Métis people, a cultural group recognized in Canada but not in the U.S.
And he’s a Doney, which surely makes him a relative of mine