The Suquamish Tribe voted on March 21 to fill five Tribal Council positions up for election this year at the Tribe’s annual General Council gathering.
The Council members re-elected are:
- Chairman: Leonard Forsman
- Position 1 Rich Purser
- Position 2 Sammy Mabe
- Position 3 Luther (Jay) Mills Jr.
The new member on the Council is Windy Anderson, elected as Secretary. Anderson is the General Manager of Suquamish Evergreen Corporation, the Tribe’s cannabis enterprise. The previous Secretary, Nigel Lawrence, chose not to run for re-election. His services on Tribal Council were acknowledged and appreciated by Tribal members during the General Council.
The Chairman and three at-large members who were re-elected, along with the new Tribal Council Secretary, join Vice-Chairman Wayne George and Treasurer Robin Little Wing Sigo, whose seats were not up for election this year.
The Suquamish Tribal Council is the governing body of the Suquamish Tribe, elected by Tribal citizens during their annual General Council meeting.
Tribal Council is composed of seven positions: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and three at-large council members. Candidates elected to Tribal Council serve in three-year staggered terms.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s General Council was canceled to protect the health of Tribal members. The terms of the two positions that were up for election last year – Chairman and Secretary – were extended for an additional year. To retain the staggering, this year’s General Council meeting elected those two positions to two-year terms. These seats, along with the three at-large council member seats, brought the total number of positions on the ballot to five.
With the pandemic ongoing, this year’s General Council was held online. Hundreds of Tribal members participated in a full weekend of reports, resolutions, and discussions via Zoom. Voting was conducted in person via drive-thru balloting on March 21. There was also an option for walk-up voting.
With approximately 1,200 citizens, Suquamish Tribe is a federally recognized sovereign nation. The village of Suquamish and seat of the Suquamish Tribal Government are located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation, along the shores of the Puget Sound near Seattle. The election of Tribal Council members is one of the many ways Tribal citizens exercise their sovereignty as Tribal citizens.