Newly elected tribal leaders are sworn in during the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s 89th annual Tribal Assembly on Thursday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Photo courtesy of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)

Newly elected tribal leaders are sworn in during the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s 89th annual Tribal Assembly on Thursday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Photo courtesy of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)

New council leaders, citizen of year, emerging leader elected at 89th Tribal Assembly

Tlingit and Haida President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson elected unopposed to sixth two-year term.

The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska elected its president to a sixth two-year term, six vice presidents, chief and associate justices, an emerging leader and a delegate/citizen of the year during the second day of the 89th Annual Tribal Assembly on Thursday.

President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson ran unopposed and was unanimously reelected.

The vice presidents elected are Jacqueline Pata of Juneau as first vice president, Clinton E. Cook Sr. of Craig as second vice president, Rob Sanderson Jr. of Ketchikan as third vice president, Will Micklin of California as fourth vice president, Delbert Kadake Jr. of Kake as fifth vice president and Paulette Moreno of Sitka as sixth vice president.

Delegates seated Aurora Lehr as Chief Justice, Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks as Associate Justice, Randy Estrin as Emerging Leader and Jania Garcia as Delegate/Citizen of the Year.

The keynote speech for the Assembly was delivered by Randie Fong, Vice President of Cultural Affairs for Kamehameha Schools, who emphasized this year’s theme “Rooted in Tradition, Growing a Sustainable Future.” Kamehameha Schools, features three K-12 schools and 29 preschools across three islands, including a network of charter schools and Hawaiian Language Immersion schools — aspects of which Tlingit and Haida officials said they are seeking for a new tribal education campus announced on the opening day of the Assembly.

“When I think of what it means to be rooted in tradition, I’m reminded of not only the grand, colorful tribal traditions that are in glorious regalia for the world to see, whether here or anywhere else, is what I call a ‘Tradition with a capital T,’” he said. “I’m even more mindful of the very simple, unassuming, personal, intimate traditions of our individual histories, ‘tradition with a small t,’ that guides our normal everyday lives when no one is looking.”

“Now, as I think about the second half of our theme, growing a sustainable future, I reflect on the early seeds of courage and faith that were planted generations ago, that are now the very fruit being harvested and replanted in innovative and regenerative ways.”

The three-day Tribal Assembly at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall is scheduled to conclude Friday with resolutions, additional reports, and the President’s Awards Banquet and Education Fundraiser. Online broadcasts of Tribal Assembly are available live and archived at

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