Tribe elects new council members; Stensgar elected chairman

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Newly elected members of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council were sworn in Monday during a ceremony at the Rose Creek Longhouse in Worley, and Ernie Stensgar was elected Chairman of the Tribe.

“This morning I asked the Good Lord if he would look upon this Tribe, for all of us Tribal people to come together, for us to be strong and unified,” said Stensgar. “I’m very honored. I’ve been in this position before but, probably, this time is the most important time in my life. I will do the best job that I can in a good way with your guidance and your help.”

In the elections, held Saturday at Tribal Headquarters in Plummer, Chief Allan and Donald Sczenski held onto their positions on the council. Margaret SiJohn, a third incumbent seeking re-election, lost her seat to Dave Matheson, who served on the Tribal Council in the past.

During the swearing in ceremony, SiJohn wa recognized for her three years of service to the Tribal Council and was wrapped in the traditional Pendleton Blanket that all members of the Council receive when they vacate their positions.

The newly elected officials were sworn in by Tribal Judge Ken Nagy and each gave a brief speech about the importance of the position they hold and their hopes for the Tribe for the future. The seven council members, including Allan, Sczenski, Matheson, Ernie Stensgar, Charlotte Nilson, Leta Campbell and Christopher Luke, then voted for the officers.

Stensgar was elected Chairman of the Tribe and will serve as such for the next year. Matheson was elected vice-chairman and Donald Sczenski was named as the secretary/treasurer of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Council.

Allan relinquished his role as Chairman after serving in the position for the last 13 years, saying that he looks forward to working toward projects that are important to him such as a re-entry program for the Tribal members.

“I’m happy to stand here and serve the Coeur d’Alene people,” said Allan. “I’m not going anywhere. I just want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve. It’s been a pleasure. It’s been my honor.”

Stensgar served as chairman for over 20 years before Allan was elected in 2005.

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