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Continued: Fond du Lac tribe’s leader stands firm in casino fight with Duluth

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 3, 2013 - 9:53 PM

Perhaps because of her own history, Diver is “a scrapper,” Walt said. She scouts funding for housings projects for veterans, elders and those who need extra support. She led Fond du Lac through the recession, adding support services and avoiding layoffs, he said.

Last week, she was appointed to a White House Task Force on combating and responding to climate change. Diver is one of just two tribal leaders and the only Minnesotan in the group.

But some band members have criticized Diver’s style. Michelle DeBolt, 45, who has lived on the reservation since she was a kid, called Diver’s leadership “secretive.”

“That’s a lot of what our culture is — you gather, you talk about important things,” DeBolt said. “Since she’s been our leader, that’s been lost.”

In particular, Diver shared too little information with band members about the tribal council’s decision on Fond-du-Luth, said DeBolt. “It hurt relations between the band and surrounding communities.”

Diver is “philosophical” about the criticism. “I can handle the people in Duluth perhaps not understanding or appreciating what the band’s doing to defend itself,” Diver said. “But I took an oath to the people of Fond du Lac. I certainly hope for their understanding.”

Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168

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