A group of Ketchikan Indian Community members is collecting signatures to recall seven of the eight KIC Tribal Council members.
The group alleges that the seven members violated the tribe’s Constitution when they voted in late May to temporarily appoint the Tribal Council President Irene Dundas to act as the KIC administrator. They further allege that Dundas acted improperly when she fired the KIC human resources director, at the direction of the Tribal Council.
Richard Jackson is the main petitioner, and has set up a table at The Plaza mall. There are separate petitions for each of the Tribal Council members that his group seeks to recall. In addition to Dundas, those members are Gloria Burns, Verna Hudson, Donna Frank, Rob Sanderson, Andre LeCornu and Norman Arriola.
Jackson said that when appointing Dundas to act as administrator, the Tribal Council was acting under the 1979 Constitution, but that Constitution was amended earlier this year, and prohibits the president from acting as CEO.
With a February 21 letter to the Anchorage office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the KIC Tribal Council sent the amended Constitution and bylaws. The controversial Tribal Council vote took place on May 31, about 100 days after the information had been sent for review.
Jackson said that the BIA didn’t send a confirmation letter, but the review period deadline has long since passed.
“There’s a 45-day review period, which I believe was satisfied,” he said. “Whether they contact us or not, that means it’s final. The Constitution was approved. That’s the basis of this petition.”
Those seeking the recall will need to gather at least 211 signatures of registered KIC voters who participated in the last election. Jackson said they’ve collected about 10 percent of the needed signatures so far, but they just got started.
He said the process is complex.
“It’s been quite a job getting all this paperwork done correctly,” he said. “I’m dealing with the legal terms that their ordinances say and the Constitution says. I looked at the constitutional vote for the 2012 Constitution, and looked at the paperwork they sent to the BIA. It’s a balance of trying to find out what’s true and what isn’t, and I believe we have a good cause.”
The eighth Tribal Council member, Delores Churchill, was not present for the vote in question, so the group is not seeking to recall her.
A message left at KIC seeking comment from Dundas was not returned by deadline Wednesday.