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Associated Press, Published May 03 2013

Tribal chairman opponents gather signatures

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. — People on the Spirit Lake Reservation who oppose Chairman Roger Yankton say they've gathered enough petition signatures to force a recall vote.

A tribal judge determined earlier that 540 signatures would be needed. Recall organizer Erich Longie says 550 have been gathered and petition circulators will continue until they have 600 in case some are ruled invalid.

Yankton's detractors question his leadership. Yankton has said his administration is looking into problems that tribal members have identified, such as ineffective child protection services on the reservation.

In another development, local Bureau of Indian Affairs Superintendent Rod Cavanaugh has taken early retirement. The Grand Forks Herald reports that Cavanaugh has been a key figure in the child protection debate. He cited personal reasons for retiring.

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