Editor's Note: This is a submitted candidate announcement for an upcoming tribal election in this area. Any submitted announcements should be 400 words or less and must include information on the office sought and date of the tribal election. Photographs can be accepted. Announcements will not be printed within 30 days of an election so they should be submitted at least six weeks prior to election date by email to kimberly.morava@news-star.com.

Justin Freeland Wood is seeking to become the Principal Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation.  He is the son of Freeland and Shirley Wood, grandson of the late Eddie Wood, nephew of HD Wood and Patricia Wood Ward, and great grandson of the late Lorena Mack-Wood.

Justin and his wife Olivia have four children and two attend North Rock Creek Public School. He lives in Shawnee and attends Heritage Church. “Raising our children where we grew up, around the people and businesses we know and trust, allows us to instill in them the lessons and values that were taught to us by our parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great alike.”

“I have a deep desire to serve our community. It was imparted to me by my family at a young age. My faith in Christ informs and leads my decision-making.  I believe that integrity, transparency, accountability and communication should be the cornerstones of our government.  We have the responsibility to respectfully govern and provide for our elders and our youth.”

Justin is not new to leadership or working within government. In 2012, he was elected to represent Shawnee in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Wood became the first citizen of the Sac and Fox Nation to serve in Oklahoma’s or any other state’s public office. After two terms in the Oklahoma Legislature, he left office to lead Big Brothers Big Sisters in Tulsa. In late 2017, the Wood family returned to Shawnee. Justin now works to promote the growth of high paying science and technology jobs in Oklahoma. 

“It was when I requested to serve on a Sac and Fox Nation board that I realized it was time for me to seek your vote to serve as your Principal Chief. Tribal members need streamlined services that are easy to access and accountable to all Sac and Fox citizens, not only the privileged few. You deserve to have reliable, trustworthy, and timely information and services when you want it.”

 “I represented my Sauk family while serving at the in the Oklahoma legislature and I look forward to serving you again as your Principal Chief. With your support, I will ensure fairness and accountability in all tribal government.  Together we will defend our sovereignty, protect and promote our traditions, language and culture, while providing educational and job opportunities, to ensure the future of our people is strong.”

The primary Sac and Fox Nation Tribal election is June 1.