SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Aaron Payment, chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, was unanimously re-elected Dec. 8 as the chairperson of the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA), which oversees treaty fishing regulation in the 1836 Treaty Ceded Territory in northern Michigan.
“I was humbled to be reelected unanimously by my peers on the CORA board,” said Payment. “I will do my best to strongly advocate issues affecting our treaty rights.”
CORA meets each month to conduct its business overseeing treaty fishing. The board consists of the chairs and Natural Resource Commission chairs of the five member tribes - Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. It meets once each year with all the signatories to the Consent Decree of 2000, a fishing allocation agreement between the five CORA member tribes, the state of Michigan and the United States.
On the federal level, Payment was appointed by President Obama to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, serves on the HHS Secretary Tribal Advisory Council, the HHS Health Research Advisory Council as co-chair, the National Institutes of Health Tribal Advisory Committee and the Tribal Interior Budget Committee. He has been elected as NCAI Executive Officer-Secretary, MAST vice president, United Tribes of Michigan president and reelected CORA chairperson. Payment is a Michigan Political Leadership Program Advisory Board member and presenter. He serves in his community as Chippewa-Luce-Mackinac Community Action Agency vice chair.