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New CSKT Leaders Sworn In, Dual Chair Elected
Key issues for council include the acquisition of the Kerr Dam hydroelectric facility
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Tribal Council elected new officers at last week’s meeting in Pablo.

Tribal elections were completed in December, which brought in four new council members. Officers are customarily elected at the January quarterly meeting following the elections. A council chair is selected every two years by the 10 members of council.

Key issues for council in the next two years include the successful acquisition of the Kerr Dam hydroelectric facility and the approaching 2015 deadline to file water rights claims unless the water rights compact is embraced by the state Legislature.
Language, culture, and natural resource management will also be key areas of focus, according to CSKT officials.

Two council members vying for the chairmanship both received five votes in a process done before a crowded council chambers on Jan. 3. After three rounds of voting, the tally remained at 5-5. After some deliberation, council supported the idea of allowing the two to split the two-year chair duties into one-year terms.

Ron Trahan, who has been on the council for 10 years, will serve as chairman first. Next year newly elected Councilman Vernon Finley will become chair for a one-year term.
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