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S’Klallam Tribe reelects incumbents

LITTLE BOSTON — Port Gamble S’Klallam tribal members have decided to stick with leaders they have trusted in the past to continue working for them by reelecting the incumbents during the tribe’s recent tribal council elections.

The fate of two-year positions of tribal chair, treasurer and council person were decided July 11.

Incumbent Ron Charles was reelected to the position of tribal chairman, beating tribal secretary Marie Hebert. Charles has more than two decades of experience in tribal governance, first earning a position on council in 1973.

He is currently the commissioner on the Point-No-Point Treaty Council and a commissioner on the Fraser River Panel of the U.S. Pacific Salmon Commission. Charles also serves as a delegate to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

Incumbent Betty DeCoteau was reelected as treasurer, beating Jolene Sullivan. DeCoteau has served six years in her current position. In addition to her work with the council, she supports the tribe and its activities as the finance and accounting director. DeCoteau also volunteers her time with several tribal committees.

Gerald “Jake” Jones was reelected as council member, beating Bruce D. DeCoteau and Mary Jones. A former tribal chairman, Jake Jones was initially elected as a council member in 2003. Jones, a professional artist, has earned the title of Master Carver and was the recipient of a Washington State Arts Commission Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program award in 2003.

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Council is a six-member legislative branch of the tribe’s government. All council members serve two-year terms with three of the six positions up for election every year. Only enrolled tribal members 18 years or older can run for office and vote in elections.

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