Wadase update: February 2014
January 30, 2014
Candidates set for June 2014 tribal election: District 8 preview
January 31, 2014

Candidates set for June 2014 tribal election: District 7 preview

Citizen Potawatomi in the Western sections of the U.S. will choose legislators in the June tribal election at the 2014 Family Reunion Festival. Vice Chairman Linda Capps, Secretary-Treasurer D. Wayne Trousdale, District 5 Legislator Gene Lambert and District 6 Legislator Rande Payne all will be running unopposed. In-person voting will commence June 28 during the annual CPN Family Festival. The Citizen Potawatomi Nation Election Committee will mail absentee ballot request forms to all eligible voters after March 1, 2013. A ballot request form will be published in future editions of the Hownikan. To learn more about your tribal government, click here.  To find out what legislative district you may reside in, click here.

Below is a preview of the race in District 7 between incumbent Mark Johnson and challenger Michael Bourbonnais.

Incumbent Mark Johnson

What Potawatomi family are you from? 

“I am a member of the Vieux family and the Johnson Family. Louis Vieux was my great-great grandfather and Jacob Johnson was my great-grandfather and married to Sophia (Vieux) Johnson. Both men at various times represented the tribe in dealings with the government.”

Where do you currently live?

“I live outside of Prather, California, which is in the foothills just east of Fresno, Calif. with my wife Rita.”

What do you do for a living?

“I am just starting my thirty fourth year in the Fire Service, I am currently serving as the Interim Fire Chief for the Fresno / Kings Unit of CAL FIRE and as the Chief of the Fresno County Fire Protection District. I am proud to have a career in Public Service. The experience I have gained over the years allows me to better serve the needs, and to problem solve for the members in District 7.”

Why are you running for the legislature?

“I was honored and humbled to be elected in 2010 to represent and serve our members as the District 7 Legislative Representative. I am running for re-election this year to continue the good work we have done on behalf of the members, including protecting and growing the financial base of the Nation, and protecting the benefits that so many of our members depend on. We have also expanded benefits such as the Health Aid program when it made fiscal sense.”

Why do you believe this is an important position for you to fill?

“I was blessed to be born into a family who taught that service to others was an important part of being a member of a community. I was also blessed to be born a member of our great Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Being able to serve our members as an elected member of the Legislature is a natural extension of my career, and it allows me to give back in a way that honors my heritage, and protects the future of our tribe. It also allows me to share our tribe’s culture and heritage with those I serve.”

Challenger Michael Bourbonnais

What Potawatomi family are you from? 

“I am descendent of the honorable CPN Bourbonnais, Anderson and Peltier families. My paternal great-great grandparents, Antoine and Mary Ann (Anderson) Bourbonnais, were both Potawatomi. My family was amongst the first group of seven families to move from the Kansas reservation and settle Indian Territory. My paternal great-grandmother is Catherine (Peltier) Bourbonnais. Both her parents were Potawatomi. Catherine’s father, Alexander B Peltier Jr., was chairman of the CPN Business Committee (1895). Anthony Levi “Tono” and Catherine (Peltier) Bourbonnais’ son, Carroll Shaubaunia, is my grandfather who adopted and raised me.”

Where do you currently live?

“Born in Sacramento, Calif., I have lived in Fresno, Calif., most all my life.”

What do you do for a living?

“I am 15-year technology professional at California’s third largest community college district. Within my job, I volunteer as club advisor for Native American Intertribal Student Association, have chaired the campus Strategic Planning Council as well as served on many organizational and community planning committees. Prior, I managed multi-million dollar distribution and transportation operations. My formal education includes MBA, Strategic Leadership (Amberton University); B.S. Business/Management (University of Phoenix), and A.S. Information Systems (Fresno City College). As well I hold a number of computer industry certifications.”

Why are you running for the legislature?

“First and foremost, I will continue unabated support of our Indian nation’s God-given right to self-governance. Similarly, continue support of CPN’s executive management business agenda in respect to planning, economic, environmental, technology, banking, gaming, real estate/trust land development, and quality education of our people. Likewise, sustained expansion of health and human services, veterans services, leadership, community and business development programs for our nation’s citizens living in California, Nevada, Hawaii, and all citizens.

Why do you believe this is an important position for you to fill?

“This position is important as it conducts the duties and responsibilities of our Indian nation’s governmental affairs. Furthermore, CPN Legislator District 6, Rande Payne, is my cousin and friend. We have thoughts about exciting CPN events we would like to bring to citizens in California, Nevada and Hawaii. We must not forget who we are. We are Nishnabek (original people)! We are Bodewadmi (Potawatomi)! We have distinct language, culture, ceremonies, and history. These things are gifted us by Holy God. Our heritage language and culture gives us identity. Chairman Barrett leads CPN gatherings with prayer in our language and traditional ceremony, and so shall I. In honor of our Potawatomi way, every day I pray in our language for all Neshnabek and our leadership. I encourage all Potawatomi to make wise Creator-sought decisions in this election and in all your affairs. Ahau, bama mine…

I gwshe gwien…Iw enajmoyan ode pi. Nin se Michael Bourbonnais, aka Mnogabwumko (Bear who stands in good positon).”