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Members of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe try to oust longtime leader

A sign at the entrance of the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Photo from Rolf Blauert / Wikipedia

Some members and some leaders of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe are trying to oust longtime Chairman Michael Jandreau.

Jandreau has led the tribe for 36 years. Allegations of corruption and mismanagement have stirred efforts by the Lower Brule Treaty Council to force him out once and for all.

The effort has the support of Vice Chairman Kevin Wright and two other council members. They tried to suspend Jandreau at a council meeting last year but are currently under a restraining order issued in tribal court.

“You’ve got to understand that this is being built up,” Wright told South Dakota Public Radio. “It didn’t just happen…all of a sudden we try to remove Mike. It’s built up.”

A new report from the Human Rights Watch is drawing national attention to Jandreau. He has dismissed the report's allegations as "baseless" but members of Congress say they are watching the situation to prevent the misuse of any federal funds.

Jandreau's also facing criticism for the tribe's links to the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. A potential agreement with TransCanada, the company behind the project, has other tribal leaders upset with Jandreau.

Get the Story:
Lower Brule Treaty Council Plans For Future (South Dakota Public Radio 1/21)
Lower Brule Tribe Grass Roots Movement (South Dakota Public Radio 1/12)

Human Rights Watch Report:
Secret and Unaccountable: The Tribal Council at Brule and Its Impact on Human Rights (January 2015)

Related Stories:
Lawmakers concerned about Lower Brule Sioux Tribe allegations (1/19)
Editorial: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe should be open about funds (1/15)
Leader of Lower Brule Sioux Tribe blasts report as 'baseless' (1/13)
Group accuses Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of widespread corruption (1/12)

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