Tribe elects state senator as chairman

Belcourt, North Dakota (AP) 11-08

Members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa have elected a state senator as their tribal chairman.

State Sen. Richard Marcellais, D-Belcourt, defeated Sam LaRocque 2,784 to 1,377 in the Turtle Mountain general election.

Marcellais will take office in early December. He will succeed David “Doc” Brien, who did not seek re-election. The tribal chairman’s term is for two years.

Marcellais, the assistant general manager of the Sky Dancer Hotel & Casino, said he will be “taking off that hat.”

But he said he will serve in both state and tribal positions, and he thinks it will be an advantage to the tribe for him to be in the Legislature.

The Vietnam veteran has served in the state Senate since 2007. He also is president of the National Indian School Board Association.