Kakkak to lead legislature for another season

Chairwoman’s salary remains at $100K annually
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

Gena Kakkak will continue to lead the Menominee Nation after a unanimous vote to keep her in as chairwoman during a Menominee Tribal Legislature meeting on Feb. 9.

Kakkak will be the chair for a second year, and she will maintain a salary of $100,000 for 2024, another measure that the legislature unanimously approved. The annual salary means she will not be getting any per diems for attending meetings.

“This is a great honor,” Kakkak said. “I appreciate the support and the faith that my fellow legislators have. I want to say that I pray this year we will be able to come together one heart, one mind, one nation.”

Legislator Joey Awonohopay will be serving as the vice chairman for the legislature, getting the position by unanimous vote.

The secretary post was a little more competitive, with Legislator Spencer Gauthier beating out Legislator Randy Chevalier by five votes to three.

The tribe also welcomed new legislators Gauthier and Michael Fish Jr., who were sworn in with Awonohopay and Legislator Joan Delabreau, both of whom were elected by the tribe for another three-year term in office.

Awonohopay led off the comments from the recently elected legislators vowing to do what’s best for the tribe.

“For those that did not vote for me, I promise I will continue to work hard to earn your support as we move through the next three years,” he said.

Fish also vowed to do what he could to help the Menominee.

“I promise to make my best efforts for our people and do what I have to,” Fish said.

Chevalier, who had previously served on the tribal legislature, expressed his gratitude at being a representative for the Menominee once more.

“First and foremost, I am extremely proud and happy to be part of this group up here,” Chevalier said. “All of them have great skills and gifts that they will be able to contribute to our tribe this year, and I look forward to being part of that.”

Delabreau expressed the importance of protecting the Menominee and their way of life.

“As I stood before you taking that oath of office, I want you to know to the best of my ability that I will defend and protect the Menominee people,” Delabreau said. “I will give you 100% of my effort.”

David Grignon, the tribe’s historic preservation officer, noted in his remarks at the beginning of the meeting that the legislators have a lot of work ahead of them.

“Speaking for our people, there are a lot of hard decisions they will have to make,” Grignon said.