The Prairie Island Indian Community is a sovereign Indian tribe organized under the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. 476.
A sovereign tribe, such as the Community, has a government structure separate from both the state and federal governments.
The Community is governed by the Constitution and By-Laws of the Prairie Island Indian Community.
A 5-member Tribal Council is elected to uphold the Tribal Constitution and by-laws, by the tribal members in the community every two years.
Several committees also play a key role in decision making processes. Committees such as; Housing, Enrollment, and Education.
From left to right: Lucy Taylor, Edward Buck, Johnny Johnson, Ronald Johnson, Shelley Buck.
President – Ronald Johnson
Prairie Island Tribal Council President Ronald Johnson is currently serving his fifth term. Johnson has previously served as vice president and assistant secretary/treasurer of the Tribal Council. Serving as spokesperson for the tribe, Johnson has testified before Congress on labor relations issues and is consistently quoted by the media.
Co-chair of the National Congress of American Indian’s Department of Homeland Security, Johnson also works with the state of Minnesota on Homeland Security to ensure tribal concerns are recognized.
Additionally, Johnson leads restoration efforts for the Prairie Island Indian Community regarding the transfer of Parcel D from the U.S. Army Corps. He also oversees the federally deputized Law Enforcement Department.
Johnson is involved in youth activities to promote the importance of education and developing future leaders within the Community. A Red Wing native, he previously worked as building and grounds manager of Treasure Island Resort & Casino.
He has an associate’s degree in marketing/management from a private college in Florida.
Johnson is an outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his family, watching NASCAR and saltwater fishing. He and wife Kathy have two daughters, Hannah and SheldonTop
Vice President – Lucy Taylor
Secretary – Shelley Buck
Treasurer – Ed Buck
Asst. Secretary/Treasurer – Johnny Johnson
Assistant Secretary/Treasurer of the Prairie Island Tribal Council, Johnny Johnson has lived in and around Prairie Island his entire life. A veteran member, he is currently serving his seventh term on Tribal Council. During his last term, Johnson served as treasurer.
Prior to serving on Tribal Council, Johnson served as education director for the Prairie Island Indian Community for seven years. In this role, Johnson achieved a marked increase in the graduation rate for the high school. During his tenure, Johnson saw the formation of summer school, driver’s education, GED and North Dakota Independent Studies programs as well as tutoring services. These programs and services have been very successful among Community members.
Johnson is a former member of the Human Rights commission of Red Wing, MN, and previously sat on the boards for the Red Wing School Foundation and the Red Wing Hockey Association. He remains actively involved with the hockey program in the Red Wing area.
In his free time, Johnson enjoys spending time with his wife Terrie and their four children, Scott, Blake, Grant and Kennedy. He enjoys attending the kids’ sporting events, both playing and watching hockey, golfing, playing softball and spending time boating and jet skiing on the river. He has also been a baseball and softball coach for several years and loves to travel
The Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota tribe holds an election every two years for positions on Tribal Council. The five-member Tribal Council maintain their positions for a two-year term.
It is respectful of Mdewakanton Dakota culture to follow the proper protocol when looking to contact Tribal Council members. All inquiries should be directed through Tribal Council’s Administrative Assistant:
* Tribal Members should contact Tribal Council Secretary Shelley Buck with inquiries.
Tribal & State Courts
Minnesota state courts have been fairly deferential toward Tribal courts and have even adopted a state law abstention doctrine for certain disputes that arise in Indian country. As the Minnesota Supreme Court indicated in Gavle v. Little Six, Inc., 555 N.W.2d 284 (Minn. 1996), abstention by a state court is appropriate when the exercise of state court jurisdiction would “undermine the authority of the tribal courts over Reservation affairs” or “infringe on the right of Indians to govern themselves.” A Tribe may also wish to assert aggressive jurisdiction over domestic relations matters especially involving its children both on and off the reservation that may implicate the Indian Child Welfare Act. Although tribal courts lack criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians the federal courts have recognized that tribal courts retain extensive authority to remove non-Indians from their territories.
All correspondence for the Tribal Court should be sent to:
Prairie Island Tribal Court
5636 Sturgeon Lake Road
Welch, Minnesota 55089
The Court consists of a Chief Judge, an Appellate Court, a Clerk of Court, Guardian ad Litem, and a Probation Officer. According to the Judicial Code of the Prairie Island Indian Community there are no Ex Parte communications allowed.
If you have any questions or communications for the Court they should be directed to:
Clerk of Court
Tribal Court Forms
Family Court Forms
- Adoption of Indian Child
- Affidavit to Default Maintenance Judgment
- Agreement End Indian Parent Rights
- Declaration for Child Custody & Visitation
- Financial Declarations
- Appointment Guardian Ad Litem
- Appointment Minor’s Council
- Grandparent Visitation
- Income & Expense Declaration
- Joint Petition for Child Support
- Motion for Modification of Child Support Order
- Notice Motion & Motion Modify Child Custody Order
- Notice to Entry & Docketing Maintenance Judgment
- Notice to Obligor of Medical Support Enforcement
- Petition for Adoption
- Petition for Child Support
- Petition for DNA Test
- Petition for Appointment of Permanent Guardianship
- Petition to Establish Parental Relationship
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Response to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
- Response to Petition to Establish Parental Relations
General Court Forms
- Affidavit In Forma Pauperis
- Notice of Motion
- Affidavit of No Answer and Motion for Default Judgment
- Affidavit of Personal Service
- Petition for Change of Name
- Affidavit of Service
- Proof of Default Judgment
- Application and Declaration for Temporary Restraining Order
- Proof of Service
- Certificate of Service
- Proof of Service Facsimile
- Civil Subpoena
- Proof of Service Mail
- Claim of Exemption
- Proof of Personal Service
- Proof of Service Summons
- Garnishment Debtor’s Answer
- Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
Judgment Creditors Court Forms
Legal Representation Court Forms
- Alcohol and Controlled Substance
- Building Code
- Cigarette Ordinance
- Civil Commitment Ordinance
- Code of Ethics
- Conduct Ordinance
- Curfew Ordinance
- Data Privacy Ordinance
- Dog and Animal Control Ordinance
- Election Ordinance
- Equal Employment and Indian Preference Ordinance
- Firearm Ordinance
- Flood Damage and Prevention Ordinance
- Food Service Ordinance
- Gaming Ordinance
- Guardianship Ordinance
- Homesite Assignment Ordinance
- Judicial Code Title 1: Courts
- Judicial Code Title 2: Rules of Civil Procedure
- Judicial Code Title 3: Domestic Relations
- Judicial Code Title 4: Commercial Code
- Judicial Code Title 4: Rules of Appellate Procedure
- Judicial Code Title 5: Corporations and Tribal Entities
- Liquor Control Ordinance
- Probate Ordinance
- Recreational Motor Vehicle Safety Ordinance
- Referendum Ordinance
- Tribal Right to Work Ordinance
- Sales and Use Tax Ordinance
- Sanitation Code
- Tobacco Ordinance
- Traffic Ordinance
- Trespass Notice Procedures
- Water and Wastewater Ordinance
- Worker’s Compensation Ordinance