CTUIR Board of Trustees and General Council Sworn into Office

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A large crowd gathered on Wednesday to watch Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Chief Judge William Johnson swear in Board and General Council members. (Photo courtesy of CTUIR)

Recently elected members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Board of Trustees and General Council took their oaths of office on Nov. 29 at the Nixyáawii Governance Center.

A crowd of approximately 100 people gathered in the center’s rotunda to watch CTUIR Chief Judge William Johnson swear in Board and General Council members.

The Board sets policy, makes final decisions on tribal affairs and takes a lead role in determining priority projects and issues. Board officers sworn in were Chair Gary I. Burke; Vice Chair Aaron Ashley; Treasurer Raymond Huesties; Secretary Roberta J. Wilson; and Members At Large Toby Patrick, Corinne Sams, Lisa Ganuelas and Steven Hart.

“We have to recognize and protect what was in the treaty (of 1855). Constitution and bylaws say the same thing. It’s a big responsibility, and I take it that way. Today, it will be our responsibility to follow through with these words,” Burke said.

Ganuelas thanked voters for another term, saying she has learned much and is still learning about the tribe’s natural resources.

“I am grateful to have another opportunity to serve as a Member At Large for the Board of Trustees,” she said. “After just finishing my first term, I have learned a lot about the process of the CTUIR governing body. Hopefully, I will be able to continue my learning in water and farming.”

During her speech, Sams talked about maintaining community and connection among CTUIR members.

“We need to continue that connection to continue to live in community, to support one another, to have empathy and understanding and lift one another up, and understand that each and every one of us hold special and specific skills that we all need for the CTUIR to thrive,” she said.

The General Council elects its officers whose primary responsibilities include running monthly General Council meetings and moving forward issues. It also hears updates from its chairperson, the Board and various working groups. General Council officers taking their oaths were Chair Alan Crawford, Vice Chair Michael R. Johnson, Secretary Martina Gordon and Interpreter Thomas Morning Owl.

“It’s good to see everyone here participating…and I look forward to doing the best that I can to serve you people, serve everyone,” Crawford said. “We look forward to doing the best we can for all of you, for the land, for our people, for our čúuš (water) and everything that uses the čúuš.”

All inaugurated officials were elected on Nov. 14 during the tribe’s general election. They will serve in their respective seats for the next two years.

Also taking their oaths were the CTUIR Junior and Senior Youth Councils.

Junior Youth Council members are Chair Awna’ee “Katty” Najera; Vice Chair Luka Worden; Secretary Eagle Edmiston; Treasurer Brooklyn Jones; Cultural Ambassador Kateri Jones; Publicist Dymond Say; and Members at Large Mateni Hutchins, Kelsey Jones, Brees Van Pelt, Abigayle McIntosh, Casey Farrow, Abraham Shippentower and Abigayle Kordatdsky.

Senior Youth Council members are Chair Weptis Brockie; Vice Chair Malaeloa Malumaleumu; Treasurer Ava Jackson; Secretary Meadow Morris; Cultural Ambassador Hiyuum Nowland; Publicist Miracle Edmiston; and Members at Large Cody Wahl, Penelope Gavin, Sunhawk Thomas, Garian McDonald, Addison Carey, Sydney Carey, Ayanna Star and Demitri Brockie.

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