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Fyant elected chair to Tribal Council

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News from CSKT

PABLO – Shelly Fyant, of the Arlee District, was elected the new Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council Chair on Friday.

The previous chairman was Ronald Trahan, who did not seek re-election for council.

On Friday, five members of the council were sworn in, including newly elected members: Martin Charlo, of the Pablo District; LeEllen “Ellie” Bundy McLeod, of the St. Ignatius District; Michael Dolson, of the Hot Springs District; and James “Bing” Matt, of the Arlee district, who had served on the council for four years. Incumbent Anita Matt, Dixon District, was re-elected in the December general election and voted in as vice chair on Friday.

Fyant has two years remaining in her second term on the council. She was raised in Arlee and graduated from Ronan High School in 1975. She obtained a degree in liberal arts from Haskell University in 1978 and went to the University of Montana for a degree in business administration in 1989. 

She is an avid UM Griz football fan, 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.

McLeod and Charlo were appointed to officer positions. McLeod is now the secretary, and Charlo is the treasurer. McLeod had worked at the Salish Kootenai College Foundation. Charlo had worked at Kicking Horse Job Corps and most recently at the CSKT Public Defenders offices.

Dolson had worked as a long-time professor at the Salish Kootenai College. Matt, a former councilman, worked for 28 years at Kicking Horse Job Corps before joining the council in 2012.

CSKT 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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