New CSKT Chairmen to Split Two-Year Term - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

New CSKT Chairmen to Split Two-Year Term

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MISSOULA -

Confederated Salish Kootenai tribes split the position of council chair into two one-year terms instead of one two-year term, after a lengthy voting process.

Last December's election brought in four new people to the 10-member council.

Members elected new officers at last Friday's meeting, but two people were vying for the position of chairman.

After three rounds of voting, each ending in a tie, the council supported the idea of allowing Ron Trahan to serve the first one-year term. Vernon Finley will become chair after 12 months.

Carole Lankford, the longest, continuous-serving member on the council, was re-elected as vice-chair. Len TwoTeeth was elected as treasurer. James "Bing" Matt was elected as secretary.

The new tribal council members say the purchase of the Kerr Dam hydroelectric facility and water rights claims will likely be key issues they face in the next two years.

The tribes occupy the 1.3-million acre Flathead Reservation and include the Bitterroot Salish, Pend d'Oreille and Kootenai tribes.

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