CSKT elects new chairperson, council members

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The Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe has elected new council members and a new chairperson. From left with hands up, are Ellie Bundy McLeod, James “Bing” Matt, Martin Charlo, Anita Matt and Michael Dolson. Judge Winona Tanner performed the swearing-in duties. (CSKT photo)

The Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribe has elected new council members and a new chairperson.

According to information from the Tribe, Shelly Fyant, of the Arlee District, was elected the new Chair on Friday.

The previous Chairman was Ronald Trahan, who did not seek re-election for Council.

Also, five members of Council were sworn in including newly elected members of Council:

• Martin Charlo of the Pablo District

• LeEllen “Ellie” Bundy McLeod of the St. Ignatius District

• Michael Dolson of the Hot Springs District

• James “Bing” Matt of the Arlee district, had served on Council four years earlier.

Incumbent, Anita Matt, Dixon District, was re-elected in the December General Election, and voted in as Vice Chair Friday.

Chair Fyant has two years remaining in her second term on Council. She was raised in Arlee and graduated from Ronan High School in 1975. She obtained an AA degree in Liberal Arts from Haskell University in 1978 and later returned to the University of Montana for a degree in Business Administration in 1989.

She is an avid UM Griz football fan, and a gardener and beader. Her spare time is spent in the mountains with family including her four sons, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter. She’s a supporter of the food sovereignty initiative and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People efforts.

New council members Bundy McLeod and Charlo were appointed to officer positions, Bundy McLeod as Secretary and Charlo as Treasurer. Bundy McLeod had worked at the Salish Kootenai Colleges Foundation. Charlo had worked at Kicking Horse Job Corps and most recently at the CSKT Public Defenders offices.

Council member Dolson had worked as a long-time professor at SKC and James “Bing” Matt, a former Councilman, had worked 28 years at KHJC before joining Council in 2012.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Tribal Council members serve four-year terms. Every two years, five are up for re-election. Tribal officers are selected every two years at the January Quarterly meeting.

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