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Northern Arapaho Tribe not in favor of four-year term amendment
Apr 19, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
The Northern Arapaho Tribe collected roughly 454 votes from enrolled tribal members April 10 with a final tally showing 251 voters were against the amendment to Resolution 6663 that would change two-year terms to four-year staggered terms for members elected to the Northern Arapaho Business Council and Tribal Committee.
A total of 203 voters were in favor of the four-year staggered terms.
In November, tribal member Millie Friday presented the amendment to the resolution in an agenda item and several public meetings on the subject were held in Ethete and Arapahoe.
Not many attended those meetings, she said, so misinformation could have been to blame for the referendum not passing.
"I am disappointed but realize that my Arapaho people are just not ready for this change," Friday said, adding that the initial decision in the general council was "overwhelmingly accepted."
Most of the votes were collected in Arapahoe followed by Ethete and Fort Washakie. Six absentee votes were included in the total.
First-time voter Sierra Lee, 18, said she agreed with her mother, Tricia Jorgenson, that shorter terms would be better because of a lack of information on tribal programs.
The tribe said credibility, consistency and continuity would be benefits of implementing longer terms. Friday thanked those who voted in favor of it.
"I pray for positive change for my people, but until that time, we stay in a system that is outdated," she said.