Tribal Voters Elect New Leadership!


Posted by Jiselle Halfmoon on 11/9/2021 12:00:00 PM

Mission, OR - Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on Tuesday elected the Board of Trustees and General Council officers who will lead the Tribe for the next two years.  The CTUIR’s governing body, the Board of Trustees will have 3 new board members: Vice-Chair Aaron Ashley, and Member-at-Large newcomers Lisa Ganuelas and Toby Patrick. Six current Board members retained seats on the BOT: Kat Brigham will resume a second term as Chair, Sandra Sampson will continue as Treasurer, Sally Kosey gained a second term as Secretary, as did Members-at-Large Boots Pond and Corinne Sams. Lindsey Watchman will also assume his second term as General Council Chair and ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.

BOT Vice Chair Jeremy Wolf chose not to run for re-election to his seat which mounted a high interest campaign between Member-at-Large Jill-Marie Gavin and former Member-at-Large Aaron Ashley. Voters chose Aaron Ashley to take over Wolf’s position. Armand Minthorn also chose not to run for re-election this term.

Voters elected Michael R. Johnson as General Council Vice Chair, Shawna Gavin as General Council Secretary and Thomas Morning Owl as General Council Interpreter (all ran unopposed on the ballot).

Two Constitutional Amendments were on the ballot this election cycle. The first proposed Amendment asked voters to add new language describing misconduct of members of the Board of Trustees. The Constitutional Amendment passed by a vote of 511 yes and 168 no. The second proposed Amendment addressed the Amendment process itself and to adjusted the requirement of a majority vote from fifty affirmative votes to 10% of the eligible CTUIR voting population with a three-fifths majority approval for a proposed amendment to pass. The second proposed Constitutional Amendment passed by a vote of 420 yes and 250 no. Exact language for the Constitutional Amendment questions are available on the Notice of General Election posted online at

Of the 2,392 eligible CTUIR voters, 716 voted in this election (540 in person and 176 by absentee ballot). The elected officials take office December 1 in a 9:00 a.m. ceremony at the Nixyaawii Governance Center.  The public is invited to attend. Following are the election results showing the number of votes received. A number of write-in votes were received for officer and at-large positions that are not included in the tallies below.   

The winners are identified with an asterisk, in bold.