Former chairwoman of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah Gari Pikyavit Lafferty, far left, was removed from office in April for receiving gifts from the Washington football team. Corrina Bow, far right, was elected as chairwoman on May 1. At center, Hope Silvas, vice-chairwoman of the Shivwits Band.

Disgraced Tribal Chairwoman Loses Appeal; Corrina Bow Wins Special Election to Fill Vacancy

Simon Moya-Smith

A tribal chairwoman who was removed from office in April for receiving gifts from the Washington football team was denied an appeal last week, the tribe reported.

A few days later, on May 1, Corrina Bow of the Kanosh Band was elected as tribal chairwoman of the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah following a special election. She received a total of 68 votes. 

A month earlier, the tribe unanimously passed a resolution accusing former Tribal Chairwoman Gari Pikyavit Lafferty of willful misconduct for going on an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to Washington, D.C., where she and family attended a Washington football team game in September of last year.

The Paiute Indian Tribe in Utah removed former Chairwoman Gari Pikyavit Lafferty, above, after she admitted to receiving gifts from the Washington football team's Original Americans Foundation.

During a hearing on March 31, Lafferty admitted to the accusations and on April 2 she was officially removed from office.

“The Tribal Council has a solemn obligation and duty to uphold and implement the Tribe’s laws, and, if they are violated, to take action in order to protect the sacred trust of the membership,” interim Chairwoman Jeanine Borchardt said. “Removal of the tribal chairwoman based upon her violations of the Tribe’s Ethics Ordinance, its Standards of Conduct, and most importantly, its Constitution, ensures that those laws have meaning, and that elected tribal leaders will be held accountable for their actions.”

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On May 4, Bow was sworn in as the new chairwoman, tribal spokeswoman Kara Briggs wrote in a statement.

Soon after taking office, Chairwoman Bow commented on the recent scandal concerning Lafferty saying it’s time “start healing.”

“The Paiute Indian Tribe has gone through a period of negativity, so now we must clear the air; it is time for the Tribe to start healing,” she said. “There are no winners in a situation like this, but the Tribal Council can unite and move forward and refocus on what is important for our Tribe, for our people and our children.”

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bullbear's picture
Submitted by bullbear on
Yes, it is a time for healing. Our world is so filled with hate that we should be praying for those who have not seen the better trail to walk. Nobody is perfect and we should humble ourselves by seeing this fact of life in ourselves. As members of tribal nations, we are few in number, and we owe it to those who fought to keep their tribes together and for our younger generations to be a forgiving People, embrace our wrongful choices and learn from them. Ms. Lafferty is not a person with a bad heart, she loves her family and friends. Embrace her and you embrace her family and the entire tribe with graciousness and an eye to a brighter future as one with our Maker – first and foremost.