Forsman elected tribal chairman

SUQUAMISH — The Suquamish Tribe General Council voted in a new Tribal Council Chairman and a new Tribal Council Secretary as its annual meeting Sunday.

Leonard Forsman was elected the new chairman, beating incumbent Bennie Armstrong and candidates Richard Belmont and Tun Chiquiti. Armstrong held the position for seven years.

Forsman is a lifetime resident of the Port Madison Indian Reservation and is the tribal spokesperson.

“I look forward to leading the Suquamish Tribe in this pivotal time in its history,” Forsman said. “The tribe is beginning to acquire the resources needed to not only care for the health and well-being of its nearly 900 members, but also to maintain its rightful place among local, county and state governments.” 

He previously served five terms as Tribal Council Secretary between 1987 and 2002. 

Linda Holt was elected Tribal Council Secretary, beating incumbent Roger Contraro and candidate Kevin George. Contraro held the position for three years.

Holt lives on Erlands Point on traditional Suquamish land in Chico and is director of the Suquamish Tribal Human Services Department. Holt previously served as Tribal Vice-Chairwoman from 2001 to 2004.

“I am happy to return to the Tribal Council and I am eager to work on important tribal needs such as establishing a veterans’ program and increasing health benefits and services for our tribal members,” she said.

Both positions are three-year terms that begin immediately. The general council is made up of the tribal members. Those 18 years of age and older are eligible to vote and 270 members voted in the election.

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