Tribal council members subject of recall effort

KETCHIKAN — Members of the Ketchikan Native tribe have launched a recall effort against seven of eight tribal council members.

The Ketchikan Indian Community group, which is collecting signatures for their campaign, alleges the seven violated the tribe’s constitution when they voted in late May to temporarily appoint the Tribal Council President Irene Dundas to act as CEO, according to KRBD (http://is.gd/mMH8Sb ). Dundas held the position briefly.

The recall group also alleges that Dundas acted improperly when she fired the tribal human resources director, at the direction of the council.

Main petitioner Richard Jackson said the council acted under the 1979 constitution, which was amended earlier this year and now prohibits the president from acting as CEO.

Dundas, who is among those targeted in the recall effort, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Recall proponents must collect 211 signatures. Jackson said about 10 percent of the needed signatures have been collected.

There are separate petitions for Dundas and each of the other targeted council members: Gloria Burns, Verna Hudson, Donna Frank, Rob Sanderson, Andre LeCornu and Norman Arriola.

The amended tribal constitution and bylaws were sent with a Feb. 21 letter to the Anchorage office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The council vote regarding Dundas took place on May 31.

The federal agency did not send a confirmation letter, but the 45-day review period deadline has long since passed, Jackson said.

“Whether they contact us or not, that means it’s final,” he said. “The constitution was approved. That’s the basis of this petition.”

The recall process is complex, Jackson said.

“It’s been quite a job getting all this paperwork done correctly,” he said. “I’m dealing with the legal terms that their ordinances say and the constitution says. I looked at the constitutional vote for the 2012 Constitution, and looked at the paperwork they sent to the BIA. It’s a balance of trying to find out what’s true and what isn’t, and I believe we have a good cause.”

The eighth council member, Delores Churchill, was not present for the vote in question and is not targeted in the recall effort.

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