New KBIC council cuts tribe’s CEO position

BARAGA – The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Council eliminated the position of chief executive officer at its first meeting of the new year Saturday.

The position had been held for several years by Larry Denomie III.

The move came just minutes after three new council members and an incumbent were sworn in. Two of the newcomers, Donald Shalifoe Sr. and Eddy Edwards, were chosen as council president and treasurer, respectively.

The CEO’s duties as supervisor of the tribe’s government and administrator over daily operations were given to the president, and his duties as supervisor of tribal business operations, including the Ojibwa Casinos, were given to the treasurer.

Arguing for the power redistribution resolution during the meeting, Edwards said eliminating the CEO’s position would “reduce the turf battles” he believes existed.

After the meeting, Shalifoe said the governmental reorganization was a major part of his campaign platform.

“People as a whole felt that the tribal government was stagnant and not going anywhere,” he said.

In particular, he added, “the casino is old, and we want to move on to bigger, better things and more fiscal responsibility.”