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SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. —At its July 12 special meeting, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Board of Directors passed a resolution, "Vote of No Confidence in DJ Hoffman Serving as Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Suspension of Duties Effective Immediately and Until Further Notice."

The resolution (see below) suspends DJ Hoffman of any and all duties assigned by resolution, ordinance, motion, or any other action of the board of directors in his previous role as vice chairperson and his current role as chairperson including all internal and external committees and communications, not including consent decree negotiations, until further notice, temporarily assigning the duties to Vice Chairperson Austin Lowes.

Hoffman was appointed chairperson June 27 by the Sault Tribe Board of Directors, covering the remainder of the chairperson term until the next election in 2024. Former Chairperson Aaron Payment resigned May 10.

"Resolution 2022-201:

Vote of No Confidence in DJ Hoffman Serving as Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Suspension of Duties Effective Immediately and Until Further Notice

WHEREAS, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (the “Tribe”) is organized pursuant to the Constitution of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians;

WHEREAS, elected officials on the Tribe’s Board of Directors serve at the will of the membership, and the Chairperson’s duties have historically been delegated by the Board of Directors;

WHEREAS, DJ Hoffman was defeated in his 2022 primary race for his Board seat by a sizable margin;

WHEREAS, DJ Hoffman was appointed by the outgoing Board of Directors to be the Tribe’s Chairperson on 06/27/2022, which was eight-days before six of their four-year terms expired due to also being defeated in their Board elections;

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors considers this appointment to be political entrenchment, which The Yale Law Journal (November, 2015) views as illegitimate since “governments are not allowed to bind future governments, and a present majority cannot bind the hands of future decision makers (Levinson, D., & Sachs, B.I.);”

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Board of Directors of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, at a duly called special meeting held on July 12, 2022, hereby issues a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in DJ Hoffman as Tribal Chairperson;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Tribal Board of Directors hereby suspends DJ Hoffman of any and all duties assigned by resolution, ordinance, motion, or any other action of the Board of Directors in his previous role as Vice Chairperson and his current role as Chairperson including all internal and external committees and communications, not including consent decree negotiations, until further notice; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Vice Chairperson shall be temporarily assigned any and all duties previously assigned to the Chairperson position by resolution, ordinance, or motion until further notice."

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Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY