Reggie Butler Sr., Sharon A. Edenfield and David R. Hatch were elected to the Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in elections held Saturday.
Butler, from Siletz, Oregon, was re-elected with 267 votes; Edenfield, also from Siletz, was re-elected with 267 votes; and Hatch, from Portland, Oregon, was elected with 247 votes. Ten candidates ran for the three open positions and the three who received the most votes were elected.
These individuals will serve with Lillie Butler and Alfred (Bud) Lane III, both of Siletz, and Delores Pigsley, of Keizer, Oregon, whose terms expire in 2016; and Loraine Butler of Siletz, Gloria Ingle of Lincoln City, Oregon, and Robert Kentta of Logsden, Oregon, whose terms expire in 2017. Term of office is three years for each position on the nine-member council.
Seven hundred eight ballots were returned and accepted. Enrolled members of the Siletz Tribe who are age 18 or older are eligible to vote in tribal elections. The tribe has nearly 5,000 enrolled members.
The swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected council members took place Sunday. Officers are elected on an annual basis and those selected for 2015 include:
Delores Pigsley, chairman
Sharon A. Edenfield, secretary
Alfred (Bud) Lane III, vice chairman
Robert Kentta, treasurer
Pigsley currently has served 29.5 years as tribal chairman out of 36 years on the council, while Lillie Butler has served 23; Reggie Butler, 18; Lane, 17; Kentta and Loraine Butler, 10 each; Edenfield, nearly six years; and Hatch, with six years of previous service on the tribal council.
The Siletz Tribe has spent the last 37 years rebuilding its government and economic structure. The signing of Public Law 95-195 in 1977, which restored government-to-government relations between the Siletz Tribe and the federal government, started this process. The Siletz Tribe was the second in the nation – and the first in Oregon – to achieve restoration.
The Siletz Tribe was among the first to become a self-governance tribe, giving tribal government more control over services provided to tribal members. Under self-governance, the U.S. government provides general funding to the tribe (rather than to specific programs), then tribal employees and the tribal council decide how funds will be spent.
Significant tribal accomplishments since Restoration include opening the original health clinic in 1991 and a new much larger clinic in 2010; and building more than 150 homes and multiple dwellings for tribal members, including 20 units at Neachesna Village in Lincoln City that opened in 2009, another eight units there and 19 apartments in Siletz that opened in 2010, plus seven homes in the Tillamook subdivision in Siletz that opened in 2013 and five more that opened in 2014.
The tribe completed the Siletz Dance House in 1996; opened the Tenas Illahee Childcare Center in 2003; opened the Tillicum Fitness Center and a new USDA food distribution warehouse in Siletz in 2008; and opened the Siletz Rec Center in 2009.
The Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society also brought back the annual Indian Fair in 2014.
Through its economic development division, the Siletz Tribal Business Corporation, the tribe purchased the Lincoln Shores office complex in Lincoln City in 2001 and opened the Siletz Gas & Mini-Mart in Siletz in 2004, the Logan Road RV Park in Lincoln City in 2004 and the Hee Hee Illahee RV Resort in Salem in 2006. The tribe purchased the Imprints printing business in Lincoln City in 2008.
Tribal offices in Portland, Salem and Eugene are housed in tribally owned buildings. The Eugene office moved to its current location in 2005, the Salem office did the same in 2006 and the Portland office moved to its current location in 2008.
The tribe also played a lead role in opening Siletz Valley School in 2003 and the Siletz Valley Early College Academy in 2006.
Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City opened in May 1995. In June 2004, the Siletz Tribe purchased the former Shilo Inn adjacent to the casino and opened Chinook Winds Casino Resort. Chinook Winds Golf Resort opened in April 2005 when the tribe purchased the former Lakeside Golf and Fitness Center in Lincoln City.
The combination of tribal employees and those at Chinook Winds Casino Resort has allowed the Siletz Tribe to become the largest employer in Lincoln County.
The Siletz Tribe has honored its tradition of sharing within the community by distributing more than $11.5 million through the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and other tribal resources. Chinook Winds has donated more than $2.8 million in cash and fund-raising items since 1995. It also provides in-kind donations of convention space for various fundraisers as well as technical support, advertising and manpower for events.