Gun Lake Tribal Council members begin new term

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Ben Brenner Courtesy Gun Lake Tribe

Members of Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians’ (Gun Lake Tribe) Tribal Council recently were sworn into office.

The elected members of the council include a new member, Ben Brenner, and three incumbents: Phyllis Davis, Jeff Martin and Jodie Palmer. Longstanding member Ed Pigeon stepped down.

Brenner was elected to represent the Salem District for the next four years. Prior to his new position, Brenner served as senior director of operations for the last three years. He also serves on the Hopkins Public Schools Board of Education.

Brenner received his degree from Ferris State University and currently is pursuing a law degree at Western Michigan University.

Incumbents Davis, Martin and Palmer will return, and each will serve a four-year term. Davis and Palmer were reelected as representatives of the at-large district. All four members will serve alongside chairman Bob Peters, Nicole Overbeck and Tomie Williamson as council members.

The members oversaw the conclusion of the casino management contract, successfully defending the casino in a federal lawsuit before the United States Supreme Court, and will oversee current expansion of the casino that is slated to open next year.

Pigeon served as vice chairman for the last 12 years and was first elected as a council member 21 years ago. During his 21 years, he was involved in developments related to gaming, land acquisition, cultural and language programs, and environmental stewardship efforts.

“I want to recognize and thank Ed Pigeon for his many years of service and dedication to the Tribe,” Peters said.  “I welcome Ben and congratulate him, Jeff, Phyllis and Jodie for winning terms on the Tribal Council. We are excited to embark on a new era of leadership that will take our tribe to new heights.”

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