Leadership Post Follows 20-Plus Years on Government Staff
Published June 9, 2016
BRADLEY, MICHIGAN – On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) announced that Leah Sprague-Fodor has been sworn in as its official tribal chairperson. Sprague-Fodor was selected by the Tribal Council to serve as chairperson on Thursday June 2, 2016.
“I am honored and proud to serve as the chairperson of the Tribe,” said Chairperson Sprague-Fodor. “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 of 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. 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.
Sprague-Fodor 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.
The Tribal Council consists of the following members: Leah Sprague-Fodor, Chairperson; Ed Pigeon, Vice Chairman; Phyllis Davis, Secretary; Kurt Trevan, Treasurer; Bob Peters; Scott Sprague; Jennie Pearl Heeren.
Sprague-Fodor is the daughter of David K. (D.K.) Sprague, who retired from the position of Chairman in January 2016 after serving in that role for 24 years.
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