DULUTH — The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has a new leader after the narrow defeat of two-term incumbent Kevin Dupuis Sr.

Bruce Savage, a former tribal council member and co-owner of Spirit Lake Native Farms in Sawyer, Minn., will take office in July.

Savage didn't return messages but said in a news release that the election "reflects the voice of the people."

His campaign materials said he hopes to strengthen the tribal community to benefit all of its members. He will take over the band as it adds cannabis cultivation and dispensing to its economic development portfolio.

Dupuis has led the band through several mining-related legal challenges to protect the St. Louis River watershed and the painstaking recovery of bones after the Minnesota Department of Transportation disrupted burial grounds in western Duluth.

He also was instrumental in the reclamation of sacred land on Wisconsin Point and the return of thousands of acres of forest land in Cloquet, Minn., from the University of Minnesota.

Under Dupuis, the band became part of a historic forest management agreement with the Superior National Forest. Before he was elected chair eight years ago, he served eight years as a tribal council member. Dupuis didn't respond to an interview request.

Fond du Lac has about 4,200 enrolled members.

Four of the other tribes included under the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe umbrella retained their leaders: The Bois Forte Band of Chippewa re-elected Cathy Chavers; Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Chair Robert Deschampe ran unopposed; the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe's Faron Jackson Sr. won by a wide margin; and White Earth Nation Chair Michael Fairbanks kept his seat.

Virgil Wind will take over for Melanie Benjamin as chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe after winning an April primary with more than 50% of the vote. Benjamin announced earlier this year that she was stepping down.