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Standing Rock elects 1st woman leader in more than 50 years

Janet Alkire
Janet Alkire(Janet Alkire for Chairwoman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 11:05 AM CDT
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FORT YATES, N.D. - The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has elected a woman to be its next leader.

Results released Tuesday show that Janet Alkire would be the first woman to head the tribal council in more than two decades.

Gates Kelley was elected Standing Rock chairwoman in 1946 and was the first woman to lead a tribe in the United States. South Dakota Public Broadcasting reports that Alkire received 829 votes to defeat current tribal Vice Chairman Ira Taken Alive, who came in with 762 votes. Taken Alive said he is contesting the results.

Alkire is a 15-year Air Force veteran who served as Standing Rock’s executive director twice.

The Standing Rock Reservation straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border and is home to about 8,000 people.

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