Sault Tribe announces general election results

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – All tribal board incumbents running for re-election returned to office in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ 2016 General Election, according to June 23’s unofficial results.

In the chairperson’s race, incumbent Aaron Payment was re-elected over challenger Unit 3 Director Keith Massaway.

Payment said, “I am honored and humbled to have been returned to office by Sault Tribe voters. I will do my best to earn everyone’s support going forward.”

The Sault Tribe is governed by a 13-member board of directors with representatives from five election units across the tribe’s seven-county service area in the Michigan counties of Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft, Alger, Delta and Marquette, and a chairperson elected by all tribal members registered to vote. The four-year terms are staggered so that the board always has experienced directors seated. The election is conducted by mail.

In Unit 1 (Sault area), three seats were up for election, with Unit 1 Director Cathy Abramson retiring. Incumbents Dennis McKelvie and Jennifer McLeod were voted back in and newcomer Michael McKerchie will take the seat vacated by Abramson.

In Unit 2 (Hessel area), incumbent Lana Causley-Smith was re-elected to office unopposed.

In Unit 3 (St. Ignace area), incumbent Bridgett Sorenson defeated opponent Ilene Moses.

In Unit 4 (Manistique area), Director Darcy Morrow was re-elected to office, fending off candidate Krystal Goudreau.

In the Unit 5 (Munising area) special election to decide who would fill the vacancy left by former director Rita Glyptis’s removal, Anita Nelson defeated Charles Matson, Sr.

The contest period for election results ends today, after which the results will be certified and the directors installed in a special ceremony where they will take the oath of office.

Complete vote totals were as follows:


Aaron A. Payment – 3,485

Keith Massaway – 3,224

Unit 1:

Michael McKerchie – 1,559

Dennis McKelvie – 1,487

Jennifer McLeod-Tyson – 1,382

Angeline Boulley – 1,299

Betty Freiheit – 1,154

Nichole Causley – 1,107

Unit 2:

Lana Causley was unopposed and deemed elected

Unit 3:

Bridgett Sorenson – 931

Ilene Moses – 547

Unit 4:

Darcy Morrow – 488

Krystal Goudreau – 299

Unit 5:

Anita Nelson – 295

Charles Matson, Sr. – 222