News from the Pacific Northwest

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NEW CHAIRMAN FOR LUMMI NATION

LUMMI, Wash. -- Evelyn Jefferson is the new chairman of the Lummi Indian
Nation.

Jefferson, elected to the Lummi Business Council in 2005, was elected to a
one-year term as chairman by her council colleagues after the Jan. 28
election. She succeeds Darrell Hillaire, who decided to not seek
re-election as chairman after four years in the job. He remains on the
council. Jefferson is Hillaire's sister.

In the Jan. 28 election, former council member Sherilee Williams was
elected to Position A. Bernie Thomas was elected to Position B, James
Wilson was elected to Position C and Donna Cultee was elected to Position
D. Council terms are three years.

The 11-member council is Lummi Nation's governing body. Officers are
salaried.

Jefferson, 36, is a former Lummi School Commission chairman and works for
Ferndale High School's Early College Program. When she was elected to the
council last year, she said her priority was economic development so Lummis
have job opportunities at home when they graduate from college.

"I want the Lummi council to be aware that we have 26 kids going to
college," she said in an earlier interview. "When they graduate, how do we
keep them? There is no economic growth in our tribe."

SQUAXIN ISLAND ASKS FOR HELP CLEANING BAY

SHELTON, Wash. -- The Squaxin Island Tribe has asked for state help in
cleaning Oakland Bay, a leading shellfish source that is threatened by
pollution.

Squaxin Island claims that failing septic systems and bad farming practices
around the bay are threatening water quality and shellfish populations, the
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission News reported.

Tribal Chairman Jim Peters told the News that fecal coliform levels in the
bay are barely below the line that would have required several shellfish
beaches to be closed. "From the trends we see, the situation out there
isn't getting better," Peters was quoted as saying.

Squaxin Island has recommended immediately shutting down septic systems
that are leaking pollutants into the bay, and changing farming practices so
agricultural waste doesn't wash into the bay.

Squaxin Island and local shellfish companies have been monitoring the
pollution and have pinpointed a few properties as potential sources.

GALANDA CO-CHAIRS INDIAN LAW CONFERENCE

SEATTLE -- Seattle attorney Gabe Galanda, Nomlaki/Concow, has accepted a
three-year term as co-chairman of the Federal Bar Association's Indian Law
Conference.

Galanda is an associate at Williams, Kastner & Gibbs PLLC. He was a leader
in the effort to require that American Indian law be tested in the
Washington State Bar exam.

In its 31st year, the Indian Law Conference is the longest-running meeting
of American Indian law and policy leaders, drawing more than 700 tribal
lawyers, judges, leaders, academics and law students to Albuquerque, N.M.,
every year.

At this year's April 6 conference, Galanda will moderate panels on "The
Future of Federal Indian Law in the Roberts Era" and "Class II Gaming:
Finding the Right Slot for Bingo." Participants include David Getches, dean
of the University of Colorado Law School; Albuquerque Mayor Bruce Bothelo;
Rocky Barrett, chairman of the Citizen Band of Potawatomi; and Allison
Binney, minority counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

Williams, Kastner & Gibbs, a Northwest law firm, specializes in about 15
areas of law, including American Indian law and gaming.

TRIBAL LEADERSHIP FORUM IN SAN DIEGO

SAN DIEGO -- Sandy Alderson, CEO of the San Diego Padres baseball team,
will make the opening remarks at the two-day Tribal Leadership Forum, March
21 and 22 at the Sycuan Resort & Casino.

At the forum, government and business executives from Indian country will
have candid discussions regarding issues that face Native communities.
Topics include "Strategic Planning," "The Per Capita Question," "Revenue
Sharing," "Health Care," "Team Building," "Leverage & Manage Debt" and
"Tribal Sovereignty."

Information is available at www.TribalSelfGov.Org; or call (360) 752-2270.

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash.
Contact him at rmwalker@rockisland.com.

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