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Leonard Forsman reelected chairman of the Suquamish Tribe; Randy George elected secretary
Leonard Forsman was reelected chairman of the Suquamish Tribe, Sunday.
The election was held during the annual General Council meeting at Kiana Lodge. Forsman was reelected to a third three-year term, receiving 167 votes to Councilman Bardow Lewis’ 109 and former chairman Emerson George’s 86.
Secretary Nigel Lawrence, appointed to complete a three-year term, was defeated by Randy George in a bid for a full term. George is a former treasurer. Lois Sullivan and Marilyn Wandrey also ran for secretary.
Forsman said 362 votes were cast in each race.
The Suquamish Tribal Council has seven members who serve staggered terms. The council governs the Port Madison Indian Reservation, 11.689 square miles on the western and northern shores of Port Madison. The unincorporated towns of Suquamish and Indianola both lie within the boundaries of the reservation. The council also oversees the protection and exercise of Suquamish’s rights within its historical territory, as retained in the Treaty of 1855.
Suquamish government departments include Community Development, Court, Education, Fisheries, Human Services, Natural Resources, and Police. Suquamish’s economic development arm, Port Madison Enterprises, owns and operates Clearwater Casino Resort, White Horse Golf Club, Kiana Lodge, Agate Pass Business Park, and several retail outlets. The Suquamish Museum and Cultural Center was once rated by the Smithsonian Institute as the best historical museum of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest.
Forsman’s priorities for the next three years: Maintain and strengthen Suquamish’s government-to-government relationships; protect treaty rights, particularly those related to fishing, hunting and habitat protection; and invest in education and culture.
Forsman said construction will begin this summer on a new museum; the Education Department may move some of its services into the current museum when the new one is completed.
Forsman said accomplishments in his last two terms include construction of capital projects, such as House of Awakened Culture, the Early Learning Center and a community dock; construction of more affordable housing; and the acquisition of White Horse Golf Club.