Tulalips appoint new board leader

TULALIP – A 41-year veteran of the Tulalip Tribes Board of Directors secured three more years on the tribes’ governing body, but lost his long-held position as chairman in a tribal election Saturday.

Stan Jones, 80, will be one of three board members on the seven-member board without a specific title.

Melvin Sheldon, who has been board vice president for the past year, will be the new board chairman.

Sheldon, 55, said he was surprised that Jones wasn’t re-elected as chairman.

“Stan is one of the great chairmen of Tulalip,” Sheldon said. “A lot of our success has to do with the steady leadership he has brought to the table. “

Jones was not reached for comment.

Tribal members expressed concern throughout the campaign season that the board has been focused on economic development at the expense of the needs of tribal members, Sheldon said.

“We have an economic ship that is heading in a direction where you can’t just stop and not pay attention to it, but we’ll put that same time in that (tribal services) area,” Sheldon said.

He said housing and education are growing concerns for tribal members.

Sheldon has been on the board for the past eight years. He will be up for re-election next year.

Saturday’s election filled two open slots on the board of directors.

Jones was up for re-election, and Herman Williams Jr., who would have been up for re-election Saturday, resigned from the board in January. Jones and Williams were among a dozen candidates vying for the two spots.

Tribal historian Tony Hatch, 36, was elected to fill the second open position.

After the results of the general election were announced Saturday afternoon at the tribes’ bi-annual general council meeting, about 700 tribal members in attendance nominated their picks for board positions.

Marie Zackuse will be vice chairman, Chuck James will be treasurer and Marlin Fryberg Jr., will be secretary. Glen Gobin will continue as a general board member. All five tribal leaders are in the midst of staggered three-year board terms.

Last week, several female candidates held the first tribal women’s forum. It was a grassroots effort that gave women a chance to openly share their concerns regarding tribal government and reservation life, said Zackuse, a 16-year board veteran.

“There are so many issues that were brought out in the first meeting,” she said. “This is a new journey for our women to be able to come together.”

Sheldon said he hopes the forum will be held on a regular basis, and that during the next year, new programs and services for Tulalip women will be created.

“We’ll do whatever we can do, but their voice needs to be heard to give us some direction,” Sheldon said.

Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or kkapralos@heraldnet.com.

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