John St. Pierre, a Colville tribal member and former Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent at the Spokane Agency, has been named to head the Colville Agency at Nespelem.
St. Pierre's appointment was confirmed by the BIA human resources office in Anadarko, Okla. He had been acting Colville superintendent since August pending selection of a permanent administrator.
"We are very pleased that a Colville tribal member will be leading the BIA here," said Colville Business Council chairwoman Jeanne Jerred. "John's understanding of the tribe's history and its governmental operations, and his prior work experience on the reservation are very important qualifications.
"We are confident he can begin immediately to address issues of common concern for the Colville tribes and the bureau," she said.
St. Pierre worked for Colville Agency from 1988 to 2006, and was the tribe's natural resources director from 2001-06. He served as deputy superintendent at the Colville Agency from 2006 until January 2008, when he was appointed BIA superintendent at the Spokane Agency in Wellpinit.
"I'm glad to be working on the Colville reservation again, and looking forward to an effective, cooperative relationship between the agency and the Colville tribal government," said St. Pierre.
St. Pierre, 48, is a graduate of Whitworth College, where he received his bachelor's degree in business. He and his wife, Yalonda, and their family live in Coulee Dam.
He will oversee about 56 BIA employees.
St. Pierre succeeds Raymond Fry, who left the position several months ago.
Jerred said the extended time lag between Fry's departure and the appointment of a permanent superintendent has been somewhat frustrating for the business council, which had urged that the position be filled quickly.
"It’s good that we now have an agency superintendent who knows, first hand, the needs and concerns of the Colville people," Jerred said. "John is well versed in our natural resources issues.
"He recognizes the significance of the BIA's continuing trust responsibilities to the tribes," she said. "Most importantly, he understands what needs to be done to make the agency more accountable to our people. We look forward to an improved partnership with the Colville Agency in the months to come."