New council assumes leadership of Snoqualmie Tribe; Chiefs stay
October 8, 2012 · Updated 9:31 AM
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, a newly elected Tribal Council assumed leadership of the Snoqualmie Tribe.
Seven new council members were elected and one incumbent, Jake Repin, was re-elected, in the first election the tribe has held since 2010.
The new 10-member council includes Repin, Lois Sweet Dorman, Sunny Elaine Clear and Alisa Marie Culp Burley, each with four-year terms; Rhonda Neufang, Robert de los Angeles, Steve de los Angeles, and Melynda Davis, each with three-year terms, and sitting members Shelley Burch and Nina Repin, whose terms expire in 2014. Burch had been the council chairwoman and Repin had been the Secretary. Katherine Barker is an honorary lifetime member.
Neufang, Clear and Dorman each received 53 votes, prompting a straw-draw tie-breaker to determine who of the three would get the shorter term.
Two alternates, Margaret A. Mullen and Melissa Lynn Strand, were also selected. Mullen has been serving as Tribal Council Treasurer.
Former council members included MaryAnne Hinzman, Frances de los Angeles and Robert Hinzman, who each received votes in the election, and Jo-Anne Dominic, who did not run for re-election.
Chiefs Pat Barker and Andy de Los Angeles are appointed for life.
About 120 of the roughly 650 Snoqualmie Tribe members cast votes in the Saturday, Aug. 25 election. Twenty-six candidates ran for election as council members and 16 ran as alternates.
Tribal Council elections had long been delayed while tribe members disputed the eligibility of members. Membership in the Snoqualmie Tribe requires at least one-eighth Snoqualmie ancestry, referred to as a blood quantum. The outgoing council decided to suspend the election process until the question of membership and eligibility was settled.
Earlier this year, three different genealogists each began examining the tribal membership for the blood quantum, but each of them quit or was terminated before completing their work and there has been no final determination.
The Snoqualmie Tribe was officially recognized by the federal government in October, 1999.