Tribal Council

Tribal Council Members

As a Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi is a sovereign nation with powers of self-government. The Gun Lake Tribal Council is the elected governing body that is comprised of seven Gun Lake Tribal Members. Each Tribal Council Member is elected by voting Membership to serve a four-year term. These terms are staggered based on the voting district represented. After which, they must run for and gain re-election to remain a member of the Tribal Council. The next Tribal Council Election will take place in 2018. 

Scott Sprague, Tribal Chairman

Bradley District

Scott Sprague represents the Bradley Voting District and has been a member of the Gun Lake Tribal Council since 2014. As a Tribal Elder, Scott is a family man – proud husband and father of four, with four amazing grandchildren. Since moving back to Michigan in 2012, Scott has made a commitment to expand his knowledge of the Pottawatomi culture while renewing old relationships and starting many new ones with fellow Gun Lake Tribal Citizens.

Scott has been instrumental to the success of Gun Lake Casino as a member of the Executive Team and the Director of Facilities. He is dedicated to the success, viability and economic prosperity of the Gun Lake Tribe, Tribal Government and all enterprise endeavors. Scott has been a member of the Asset & Liability Committee, the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission, Housing Committee and the Revenue Allocation Plan Committee. Even with that busy schedule, Scott is committed to making sure that all citizens know that he is always available to listen to any concerns, ideas, critiques or suggestions that they may have.

Ed Pigeon, Vice Chairman

Salem District

A Gun Lake Tribal Council Member since 1999, Ed Pigeon is currently serving his fifth term. He represents the Salem Voting District of the Gun Lake Tribe and has been the Tribe’s Vice-Chairman for two terms, previously serving as the Acting Chairman, following the retirement of Chairman DK Sprague. Ed works full time for the Tribe and has helped to shape the direction and growth of the Tribal government during his tenure on Tribal Council.

With a dedication to ensuring a prosperous future for all members of the Gun Lake Tribe, Ed has been a member of several departmental committees. He also serves as a member of both the Development Board and the Business Board. Ed has been involved in numerous Tribal accomplishments that have made a lasting impact on Tribal members and will continue to improve their opportunities and their lives. These projects include casino financing, land acquisition, formation of a Tribal non-profit, development and implementation of a revenue allocation plan, economic diversification, expansion of Tribal programs and he has lobbied on behalf of the Tribe at both State and Federal levels.

Bob Peters, Treasurer

Bradley District

Elected to the Gun Lake Tribal Council in September of 2014, Bob Peters represents the Bradley Voting District. Bob has shown a commitment and dedication to the Gun Lake Tribe beginning as a licensing investigator in 2010 for the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission. He has since held various positions with the Gaming Commission and has become increasingly involved in several Tribal initiatives in recent years. Bob is the Powwow Committee Treasurer, a member of the Language Advisory Committee, and a Board Member of both the Gaming Authority and Jijak.

Coinciding with our Elders’ vision, Bob is passionate about offering his knowledge and experience to younger generations, in order to improve the future of the Tribe. In his efforts to expand his knowledge for dissemination, Bob is currently studying to obtain his Business Degree. Bob is also working to reestablish the Native American Student Organization (NASO) at Grand Rapids Community College and is the elected President of this organization.

Jeff Martin, Secretary

Salem District 

Elected to the Gun Lake Tribal Council in August of 2016, Jeff Martin serves as Tribal Council Secretary and represents the Salem Voting District. A Tribal Elder, Ogitchedaa and family man, Jeff has been happily married for over 20 years with five children and two grandchildren. He served in the U.S. Armed Forces, United States Army, from 1982 until 2003, when he retired in December of that year. Jeff Martin is also Midewiwin in the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge.

Jeff’s first employment with the Gun Lake Tribe started as a Surveillance Operator with the Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission from June of 2012 up until November of 2016. He is very involved in many aspects of the Tribal Government Operations. Jeff currently serves on the Environmental Committee, Elders Committee, Pow Wow Planning Committee and the new Design Review Board. He is also a member of the Gun Lake Tribal Ogitchedaa Society.

Phyllis Davis, Council Member

At-Large District

Tribal Councilwoman, Phyllis Davis, currently resides in the Grand Valley region west of Standale Michigan. She was elected to Tribal Council August 2008 to represent the At-Large District for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan. Phyllis is married to Monte Davis Sr. and has two sons - Jeffery and Monte Jr. Phyllis is a very proud and grateful grandmother of three, Tristell, Blade and Gracie and finds the greatest joy in life are in spending time with her grandkids and family.

Phyllis has worked for the Tribe since May of 1998 and was instrumental in the program development of the Tribal Health and Human Services Department. Phyllis has a true desire to see improvements in access to health care, to elevate the health status of American Indians and reduce the disparities that American Indians are challenged with daily. As an advocate for healthcare Phyllis has taken a proactive approach to addressing these needs, by promoting collaborations with tribal nations, local, regional and federal agencies to promote and educate our partners on issues related to American Indian health and human service gaps and to find solutions that will have the best outcome for our Tribal nation. She currently sits as Co-Chair for the Michigan Tribal Health Directors Association, the Resource Allocation committee for the Bemidji Area and is an alternate board member for the National American Indian/Alaskan Native Health Research Advisory Council.

Jodie Palmer, Council Member

At-Large District

Jodie Palmer was elected to serve on Tribal Council, representing the At-Large District, in 2016 and started serving full time in May of 2017. Growing up locally, in Allegan, Jodie is the daughter of Noel Webb and grandaughter of Stephen Marks. Jodie has been married over 45 years to her husband, Rick. Each of Jodie's three children work for the Gun Lake Tribe and she has seven beautiful grandchildren that live within five miles of her. She has made it her personal mission to live her life following the Seven Grandfather Teachings and she has begun her journey to officially join the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge. 

Jodie is very proud of the Gun Lake Tribe and the great services that are offered to take care of its Citizens and their families. She is extremely involved in several areas of the Tribe serving on the Education's Kinomage Committee, the Housing Committee, Elders Committee, the Tribal Gaming Authority, the Design Review Committee and previously on the Language Advisory Committee. Jodie also works hard outside of the Tribal Government and serves as the Secretary on the Catching the Dream Board and the Michigan Indian Elders Association Executive Board. She's also a member of the Kalamazoo Art League Board, Title IV Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee, YWCA One World Committee and the ERAC/E Committee. 

Jennie Pearl Heeren, Council Member

Bradley District

Jennie has represented the Bradley Voting District since June of 2016. She has a great love for Pottawatomi culture and comes from a long line of Black Ash basket weavers – a cultural art that’s been passed down throughout the generations of her family and Jennie proudly teaching her sons the beautiful art in the hopes that it continues to be a valued part of her family’s and the Tribe’s heritage.

Jennie has worked for the Tribe for a total of nine years – five years of which were in Health & Human Services. The past four years have been spent in the Education Department. She is passionate about the success of our Tribal Youth and future generations. Jennie is a member of Gun Lake Casino Scholarship Committee, the Project LAUNCH Advisory Board, Tribal Development Committee, Hopkins Public Schools Diversity Board, the Confederation of Michigan Tribal Education Directors (CMTED) and MDOT workgroups.