Erma Vizenor, the longtime leader of the White Earth Nation, has resigned on the eve of an expected vote to remove her from office, according to a tribal spokesman.

Vizenor, who was named tribal chairwoman in 2004, stepped down after a lengthy fight over a constitution that would have changed tribal government and the method for determining band membership.

Vizenor supported the first-of-its-kind constitution, which was approved by White Earth members in 2013, but she faced opposition from the White Earth Tribal Council and the larger Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, the umbrella organization overseeing White Earth and five other bands.

Her last day in office was Thursday, a day before an expected vote by the White Earth Tribal Council to remove her.

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe leadership voted 10-1 last month to remove Vizenor from its governing board, saying at the time that she abused her authority by continuing to push for the constitution after White Earth tribal leadership told her to stop.

Former Green Party vice presidential candidate Winona LaDuke has announced plans to run for Vizenor’s seat.

Matt McKinney