Native Sun News: Standing Rock Sioux chairman still in office

The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Charles Murphy

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Council Member Avis Little Eagle

FORT YATES, NORTH DAKOTA –– Despite recent attempts by a council member to oust the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s current chairman, Charles Murphy, he remains the tribe’s leader.

Eight charges were originally levied against Murphy last month by Avis Little Eagle, Tribal Council member, but only three of the allegations were moved forward by the rest of the council. In a hearing held on March 28, the council voted down two of the charges, 12-3. The third charge was subsequently voted down 9-6. The meeting was chaired by Mike Faith, the tribe’s vice chairman, who did not participate in the vote.

Little Eagle’s charges stemmed from the firing of Murphy’s executive director, Cheryl Kay. According to Little Eagle and Kay, Murphy was pressured to fire Kay after her attempts to divide tribal programs so that they could be run by six different department heads rather than being run by the council.

During the seven-hour public hearing, Murphy had the opportunity to provide six witnesses in his defense. After hearing from the witnesses and discussing their testimony, a closed-door executive session was held.

Upon emerging from executive session, several council members who originally voted to move the charges forward had turned their votes in favor of Murphy, according to tribal member Archie Fool Bear.

“Chairman Murphy is still Chairman Murphy,” said Fool Bear, spokesman for Active Citizens for Tribal Truth, an organization that opposes the council’s intrusion into the executive branch of tribal government. “The vote didn’t go in favor of the charges.”

(Contact Karin Eagle at staffwriter2@nsweekly.com)

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