2024 Candidates for Council Vice-Chair

Zach Pahmahmie

My name is Zach Pahmahmie and I am seeking re-election as Vice-Chair in the upcoming election.  In this position I have witnessed the evolution and progress of the Nation.  I am the son of Richard Pahmahmie, Jr. (Prairie Band Potawatomi) and Cheryl Simon (Kickapoo). My father’s parents were Richard Pahmahmie, Sr. and Josie (Wamego) Pahmahmie.  I grew up on both the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Reservation and the Kickapoo Reservation.

I graduated with my B.A. from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, and my law degree (Juris Doctor) with a tribal lawyer certificate from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.  My previous work, education and life experiences have equipped me with the ability to work with varied groups of people as required as a representative of the Nation in many different settings.  These skills will continue to play an important role as the Nation continues its work on many fronts.  My legal background will continue to play a vital role in serving the Nation as Indian Country has faced attacks on different fronts in efforts to undermine and erode tribal sovereignty.  Now more than ever it is important for tribal nations to fortify themselves to push back on these threats that are aimed at weakening tribes’ unique legal status with the federal government.  Some of these attacks have been on critically important laws for Indian Country such as the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The Nation continues to see growth and progress on many fronts which typically involves legal knowledge to make informed decisions.  This will continue to be the case as the physical footprint and reach of the Nation grows in and near our homelands that now encompass two states.  Some of the important work that will be required in my position in both locales will be to continue to educate members of Congress and other state elected officials on the legal implications and practical effect of tribal sovereignty.  Now that the Nation has become the first tribal nation to formally exist in Illinois, this new relationship will require much time and work.

In addition to work related to fostering positive government relations, I have had the privilege to serve as one of the Tribal Council members on the Board of Directors for Prairie Band, LLC.  I have served as Prairie Band, LLC, Board Chair during my time in office. Throughout my tenure in this role, I have had the opportunity to work toward and witness a great evolution in the Nation’s effort to diversify its enterprises to create greater opportunity for the Nation, its members and the region.  Most recently, the LLC and the Tribal Council held a ground breaking for one new enterprise, GAIA Prairie Band, that will be part of the 150/Highway 75 development.  This company will not only continue the Nation’s economic leadership role, but also position the Nation to become a national and international model on the production of eco-friendly paper products.

I respectfully seek your vote in the upcoming election to be re-elected as Vice-Chair for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.  I will contribute my best efforts to continue creating opportunity for the Nation and the membership by using my skills and knowledge to promote the growth necessary to sustain the Nation for years into the future.