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What to do after you're elected to tribal council

Letter to the Editor


Last updated 3/29/2017 at 10:59am

This is a letter to all those vying for a position on the Tribal Council.

You should do three things after becoming an elected representative.

First: Change the name of the reservation. REASON: Time has long since passed that we continue to call ourselves colvile Indians and understand that there never were any colvile Indians. That we must either change to our language name “Syilx People” or our dominant tribe “Okanogan” (no matter how you spell it)!

Second: Change the length of service for councilpersons to four years. All you do now is find out where the bathrooms are and start running for council in 18 months. We have no way of knowing your beliefs or desires for tribal improvement. Remember, the Tribal Attorneys are the ones that said we “could not change without a referendum vote.” You will be the governing body of the confederation, and if other tribes can do it, why can’t you?

Third: Pass a resolution that allows the Okanagan Indians (Lakes if you prefer) to buy gas at our prices, hunt on our grounds and fish in our streams and lakes without fees. The Desautel decision should have awakened you to the fact that we are the Syilx People and not a bunch of separate tribes and languages.

These may be foreign to most of you running, but the rest of us know that the only thing keeping it from becoming so, is YOU. The only ones stopping anything that will unify our People is Y-O-U.

Good Hunting!

Arnie Marchand

an Okanagan Indian and member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville



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