It is with great sadness that the National Indian Gaming Association shares the news of the passing of Louis Dixon, former Legislator and Tribal Judge for the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin.
Mr. Dixon proudly served in the United States Army from 1948-195. After being honorably discharged after 4 years of committed service, Mr. Dixon returned to his homelands of the Menominee Indian Reservation. He continued his dedicated career in public service as a paralegal in the Menominee Tribal Courts and was appointed to serve as a Lower Court Judge during the mid 1980s.
By 1986 Mr. Dixon was elected by his people to serve his first 3-year term as a member of the Menominee Tribal Legislature. With tremendous support he was re-elected to the Tribal Legislature in 1994 for a second 3-year term. Continuing his career in tribal leadership, Legislator Dixon served as Vice Chairman of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in 1995 and again in 1996. Returning to his love of the law, Mr. Dixon was honorably reappointed as a Lower Court Judge for a 4-year term from 1997-2001.
Mr. Dixon was instrumental as the Menominee united in the fight for their treaty rights during his tenure. After 100 years, the tribe hoped to again spear sturgeon outside their reservation, which was prevented by a dam. The spiritual and historic significance that the sturgeon holds for the Menominee was a battle Mr. Dixon helped push for upholding tribal sovereignty. "As a Tribal Legislator and Judge Mr. Dixon was an example of one of our leaders that advocated for our inherent rights as Native people. He fought the good fight and helped to restore traditional tribal ways whether it was during his time as a legislator, an honorable judge or serving his community," said NIGA Chairman Stevens.
Legislator Dixon's accomplishments as a leader and member of the Menominee Indian Tribe are numerous. During his term in service, Legislator Dixon served on the Tribe's Economic Development Consortium, Social Service Committee, County Human Service Board, Culture Committee, Ad Hoc Per Capita Committee, Ad Hoc Child Care Committee, MTE/MTL Joint Taskforce and MISD/MTL Joint Taskforce. Mr. Dixon drafted the Alcohol Beverage Control Ordinance in 1988 along with many other pieces of tribal law and was a strong advocate for Tribal Sovereignty, Tribal Resource Protection, Justice, Education and Healthcare.
Chairman Gary Besaw issued the following statement, "Our Tribe mourns the loss of a visionary leader. Legislator Dixon's commitment to the service of his Country and Tribal Nation are remarkable. He will forever be remembered as an advocate for the protection of the people and tribal justice. On behalf of the Menominee Tribal Legislature, I offer sincere condolences to Legislator Dixon's family and friends."
Mr. Dixon passed away Sunday, April 26, 2015 in Colorado Springs surrounded by his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Dixon's family as well as his friends and former colleagues. There is a planned memorial service that will take place on the Menominee Indian Reservation at a later date. In his honor and memory, all flags at the Menominee Tribal facilities are being flown at half-staff for a 10-day period.