Marshall Pierite, elected Tunica-Biloxi Tribal Council Chairman
Marshall Pierite elected Tunica-Biloxi chairman
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe members have elected Marshall Pierite as Tribal Council chairman -- the modern equivalent of the traditional position of chief. The election results will become official Saturday, a tribe spokesperson said.
Beverly Chapman Rachal was re-elected secretary-treasurer. Two new members elected to the board are Jeremy Zahn and Bobby Pierite Sr.
Three other members of the 7-member council -- Vice Chairman Marshall Sampson, Brenda Litinger and Harold Pierite Sr. -- are up for re-election in 2020.
“I am excited to be elected chairman of the tribe,” Marshall Pierite said. “I am excited not only for myself, but also for the tribe and the greater community. I am looking forward to working with my fellow council members, tribal members and the non-tribal community.”
Pierite served as interim chairman following the death of long-time chairman Earl Barbry Sr. on July 31, 2013. Barbry’s son, Joey Barbry, won the position in April 2014.
Joey Barbry resigned his position as tribal administrator last year after being indicted on federal embezzlement charges in connection with hot checks written to and cashed by a tribal financial company. He pleaded guilty to that charge in January.
Pierite said the tribal chairman has traditionally also held the position of tribal administrator. The Tribal Council decided to split those duties. Earl Stubbs will serve as tribal administrator.
That decision “allows me to focus my attention on seeking economic development for the tribe and the overall community” and to concentrate on efforts "to protect Native American tribal sovereignty on a national level."
Pierite says he wants “whatever we do for the tribe to benefit Avoyelles Parish as well. We want to be a good community partner.”
Pierite's uncle, Joseph Pierite Sr., was the last traditional chief of the tribe. His cousin, Joseph Pierite Jr., was the first elected chairman.