Ed Thomas Re-elected as Central Council President for Two-Year Term
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) announced conclusion of its 77th Annual Tribal Assembly where, in an overwhelming show of support for the tribe’s leadership, the delegation re-elected incumbent president, Edward K. Thomas, and the six incumbent vice presidents to additional two-year terms.
Thomas was first elected Central Council president in 1984 and served until 2007. In 2008 he was elected as Central Council's president emeritus, a position he held until coming out of retirement in 2010, at which time he was re-elected president.
"I’m very pleased to have an experienced, qualified, and supportive Executive Council for the next two years as we face our significant challenges on behalf of our tribal citizens." said Thomas.
"I would like to extend congratulations to President Thomas, the vice presidents and all delegates for another successful Tribal Assembly," said Chris E. McNeil Jr., president and CEO of Sealaska. "Your leadership and dedication to our tribal government continues to strengthen the Tlingit and Haida people."
Thomas presented Mary Elizabeth Jones with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her many contributions towards improving healthcare services for Tlingit and Haida people and strengthening Alaska Native women’s political positions within their communities. The event was made extra special with members of the ANS drumming and singing. In addition, the Doloresa Cadiente-Hardin Tribal Justice Award was presented to its first two recipients: Tribal Child Support Unit Attorney Jessie Archibald and Alaska Legal Services Corporation Attorney Holly Handler.
Delegates also approved a resolution strongly opposing the exclusion of Alaska Native tribes from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The federal act is currently going through a re-authorization. The current version of the VAWA (H.R.4154, H.R.4271 and S.1925) discriminates by singling out all Alaska Native tribes with the exception of the Metlakatla Indian Community, and removes the pre-existing authority of Alaska Native tribes to issue civil protective orders.
Re-elected vice presidents include 1st Vice President William Micklin of San Francisco, 2nd Vice President Robert Sanderson Jr. of Ketchikan, 3rd Vice President Yodean Armour of Klawock, 4th Vice President Richard Peterson of Kasaan, 5th Vice President Harold Houston of Juneau, and 6th Vice President Lowell Halverson of Seattle.
130 tribal member delegates participated in this year’s event. The 78th Annual Tribal Assembly will be held April 17-20, 2013 in Juneau, AK.