tribal council

Colville Business Council members gather July 11 during their reorganization session.

NESPELEM - Rodney Cawston, recently re-elected to his Nespelem District position on the Colville Business Council, was named chairman of the council during its annual reorganization July 11.

Cawston and four other incumbents who won re-election were sworn in. Two new members, Roger Finley, Inchelium District, and Jarred-Michael Erickson, Nespelem District, were sworn in.

The 14-member council selected Cawston for another term as chairman by acclamation. Other council officers are Jack Ferguson, Keller District, vice chairman, and Joel Boyd, Inchelium, secretary. The council also will name an Omak District council member to the executive committee.

Committee chairs elected by the council are Ferguson, management and budget; Joseph Somday, natural resources; Richard Swan Sr., law and justice, and veterans; Janet Nicholson, health and human services; Boyd, employment and education; Darnell Sam, culture; Marvin Kheel, tribal government, and Finley, community development.

The council honored outgoing Nespelem District Councilman Andy Joseph Jr. and Inchelium District Councilwoman Susie Allen. They lost the June 22 election to Finley and Erickson, respectively.

Cawston noted that Joseph and served for 16 years on the council and was indispensable to a number of health care services improvements for the tribe. The chairman commended Allen for her work on broadband and other telecommunications services for the tribal membership.

Cawston and other council members said 2018-19 was a year of several accomplishments for the tribe, including numerous legislative successes in health care, broadband funding and voting rights. The tribe also secured two major court victories in the past few months: The successful conclusion of Colville’s longstanding litigation to hold Teck Cominco Ltd., responsible for its contamination of the upper Columbia River, and a second appellate victory in the Rick Desautel hunting rights case in British Columbia.

“We all look forward to continued successes for the Colville tribes and to improving the lives of the tribal membership in the areas of health care, economic development, natural resources and education, to name a few,” Cawston said.

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