Gun Lake Tribe Councilors Jodie Palmer and Jennie Pearl Herren, Chairman Scott Sprague and Vice Chairman Ed Pigeon – Native News Online photos by Levi Rickert
Published March 5, 2018
BRADLEY, MICHIGAN – After 13 long years of court battles, the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan (Gun Lake Tribe) celebrated Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in favor of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, settling the long running dispute with a final decision in Patchak v. Zinke.
“In this country, there is an avenue available to its citizens where disagreements can be resolved peaceably and with finality. In our case, finality took a long time. But it is final and the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi does welcome this court ruling,” said Scott Sprague, chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe.
Gun Lake Chairman Scott Sprague
“Relief is the word that best describes my feelings,” says Sprague, who said even though he felt the tribe would ultimately prevail, there is always a chance of losing. Sprague says the finality of the Supreme Court decision now allows the tribe to move forward with economic development projects without doubt because of a court case looming.
“Economic stability is an important goal of any organization and the Gun Lake Tribe is no different. Evaluating and decision-making will continue to be done in a good way. This responsibility is significant and paths forward become very important now…I refer to these as slow, deliberate steps that the Tribal Council takes, continue Chairman Sprague.
“For me, I have been involved with this court case from beginning to the end. I am happy with this victory,” commeted Ed Pigeon, vice chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe.
Gun Lake Tribe Councilors Jodie Palmer and Jennie Pearl Herren expressed their gratitude to parties that helped the Gun Lake Tribe gain its victory.