- The Washington Times - Friday, April 1, 2005

RED LAKE, Minn. (AP) — The Red Lake tribal chairman said yesterday he would not resign unless the public urges him to leave and again proclaimed his son innocent of any involvement in a deadly shooting spree on the Indian reservation.

“The only thing my son is guilty of is being friends with Jeff Weise,” said Floyd Jourdain Jr., chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, referring to the 16-year-old who authorities say killed nine persons on March 21 before shooting himself at the community’s high school.

Mr. Jourdain said his son’s story would be told at some point.

“It’s a story that has a lot of twists and turns and tragedies and hope and messages. And that story will unfold eventually, and it will be a story everyone can learn from,” he said, speaking at a meeting of the Red Lake School Board to discuss when classes would resume.

Several press outlets have reported his 16-year-old son, Louis Jourdain, was charged in federal court with conspiracy. Federal authorities have not confirmed the reports, citing his juvenile status.

Mr. Jourdain said he has taken time off from his job since his son’s arrest, but remains in contact with his staff every day. He said he’s received support from the tribal council and the community, including about 300 e-mails mostly encouraging him to remain on the job.

“If the people of Red Lake determine it’s time for me to move on, then I will,” he said. “Right now, I’m not getting that feeling from the majority of people out there.”

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