Fred Kiogima, a 55-year-old LTBB Tribal Citizen, is a retired Gunnery Sergeant of the U.S. Marine Corps. He lives in “Indian Town” on the west side of Harbor Springs, MI, with his father Augustine Kiogima II, a LTBB Tribal Citizen and a World War II veteran, and his fiancé, Kim Hines, a LTBB Tribal Citizen and a tribal artisan in beadwork.
His mother was the late Helen Agnes (Shawa) Kiogima, a member of the Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians who walked on in September 2010 after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
His grandparents on his mother’s side were the late Amos and Ida Shawa, and they lived on Indian Road in Burt Lake, MI. They were involved in the burnout of their small village known as “Indianville” in Burt Lake, MI, in October 1900. John McGinn, a timber speculator, had purchased a sizeable section of land for back taxes on Burt Lake. The land had once belonged to the area’s Native American population. He along with County Sheriff Fred R. Ming and some deputies seized the property on which the village of “Indianville” stood. They emptied the contents of the Indians’ log cabins into the dirt road and set all the log cabins on fire. The entire village, approximately 15 buildings, burnt to the ground with the exception of a small Catholic church. The fires could be seen for many miles. With no place to go and no recourse, the Indians walked to Cross Village, MI, which was approximately 25 miles away. There is a well-known photograph of Negonee, a 106-year-old woman, who made this journey.
He has three brothers, Augustine III; Melvin, who is completing his eighth year as a LTBB Tribal Councilor; and Alan; and a brother, Gordon Bryce, who walked on a few months after his birth. He has a daughter, Feather Anne, and a son, Bryce.
He attended Holy Childhood of Jesus School, a boarding school in Harbor Springs, MI, through seventh grade and graduated from Harbor Springs High School in Harbor Springs, MI, in 1977. He graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps boot camp in July 1980 and started his career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent 22 years in the Marine Corps, retiring in August 2002.
He participated in Operations Big Pine II in Central America in 1983-1984, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Eastern Exit in Somalia, Africa and in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He received the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), the Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (seven awards) and the Armed Forces Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal as well as other Unit and Battle Campaign medals and citations.
After his retirement from the Marine Corps, he served on the LTBB Gaming Board of Directors.
“My journey in the (Marine) Corps was what I had always dreamed it would be – a Leader of Marines – in peace and a combat zone,” Kiogima said. “I have traveled the world in the company of America’s finest warriors, that being Marines, soldiers, sailors, airmen and the Coast Guardmen, many of them Native warriors from tribal nations across Indian country. Through my 22 years in the (Marine) Corps, I was promoted consistently through my leadership, education and management capabilities, always being cognizant of mission accomplishment. Upon my retirement in August 2002 and starting the next chapter in my life, I always knew I would come home and help our tribal community. My leadership roles, schooling and dealing with budgets on short-term and long-term basis and strategic planning enabled me to serve with pride, honesty and integrity on the Odawa Casino Resort Board of Directors.”
He participates in tribal events in the area and is part of the honor guard at area pow wows, parades and funeral details.
Debbie De Leon, a 59-year-old LTBB Tribal Citizen, is retired from the State of Michigan and was an active member of UAW Local 6000, serving on the Local’s Legislative Committee and Region 1-C CAP Council.
She was the District 4 representative on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners where she served seven consecutive two-year terms since 2001 and served as the Board Chairperson in 2009 and 2010. She chaired the County Services Committee for the fourth time. It is the largest committee overseeing multiple departments and county-wide elected officials, including budgets, policies, personnel actions and grievances. She also served as Chair of the Law Enforcement Committee three times, overseeing the Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office and Community Corrections, and following a reorganization, was serving on the Law and Courts Committee, which additionally includes oversight of Circuit, District and Probate Courts and programs.
Ingham County (home to Lansing, the state’s capitol, Michigan State University and General Motors) has approximately 1,080 employees with a 2013 annual budget of $208 million and a general fund of $72.6 million. While serving as Board Chairperson in 2009 and 2010, some of her responsibilities included attending all five committees (Finance, Human Services, Judiciary, Law Enforcement and County Services); signing all contracts; direct oversight of Board Office staff, County Administrator/Controller, Health Department Director, Animal Control Director and the Equalization Office Director; working closely with the Controller to develop the annual budget; and representing the county in various forums.
De Leon was appointed to serve on a number of community boards such as the Michigan WORKS! Administrative Board (currently the Chair), Mid-South Substance Abuse Commission (former Chair), Board Liaison to the Capitol Regional Airport Authority, Ingham County Land Bank Authority (former Vice Chair), Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau, Local Emergency Planning Committee (current Chair), Community Mental Health Board and an alternate to the County’s Equal Opportunity Commission. She also serves on the Michigan Coalition for Race Equity in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice as an appointee of Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly.
Because she had to live within the LTBB reservation no later than 90 days after the general election, she resigned from her position on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.
Originally from Escanaba, MI, De Leon lived in Lansing, MI, for several years before moving to the Northern Michigan area. Her grandparents were Joseph Kesick and Rose Boursaw, and her mother was Yvonne Kesick LaPalm, who was from Nahma, MI. She has four brothers, two adult children, Christopher Trentin and Dr. Athena Trentin, and five grandchildren. Christopher is a firefighter and a paramedic for the City of Lansing, and Athena is the Executive Director of Global Talent Retention Initiative, University Research Coordinator.
De Leon is a 1972 graduate from Escanaba Area Public High School in Escanaba, MI. She attended Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba, MI, Lansing Community College (LCC) in Lansing, MI, and Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, MI. She is a Native American Leadership Program Graduate from LCC and was both a Native American Public Policy Program Fellow and a Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellow at MSU.
She worked in Indian country for more than 20 years as the Project Director/Coordinator for Escanaba Area Public Schools Indian Education Program (1976-1986), as the Indian Outreach Worker - Delta County DSS in the Michigan Department of Social Services (1986-1990) and as the Indian Outreach Worker for Ingham County FIA for the Michigan Family Independence Agency (1990-1992). She also worked as an Assistance Payments Worker – Medicaid Eligibility Specialist – Ingham County for the Michigan Family Independence Agency (1992-1996), a Legislative Assistant for the Michigan House of Representatives (1996-2003) and as a Special Assistant to the Mayor, City of Lansing (2003-2005).
She served on the LTBB Child Welfare Commission (CWC) from 1997 to August 2013 when she resigned to assume the position of LTBB Vice Chairperson. She previously served as the CWC Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.
“My life experiences as well as my traditional teachings have more than prepared me for this next chapter in my life,” De Leon said. “Serving in the role and responsibility as Tribal Vice Chair and representative of the people is one of the highest honors one could be given by our Tribal elders and citizens. Entrusted by you to make informed, fair and balanced decisions today that would affect our children and grandchildren for seven generations is a priority that I will never take lightly. I am more than ready to take on this new role and humbly welcome the opportunity to do that for my Tribal family.”