Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson speaks at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Elizabeth Peratovich Hall on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Peterson was elected to his third term as President during the 85th Tribal Assembly held virtually this year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson speaks at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Elizabeth Peratovich Hall on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Peterson was elected to his third term as President during the 85th Tribal Assembly held virtually this year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Peterson reelected in condensed Tribal Assembly

Over 100 delegates gathered virtually to elect tribal leadership

Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson was elected to his third term as president of Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Thursday during the annual Tribal Assembly meeting, held virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 100 delegates, mostly in Alaska and Washington state, gathered via Zoom meeting to elect the Executive Council, the tribal government leadership including president and six vice presidents.

The vice presidents elected in ascending order are Catherine Edwards, William Micklin, Rob Sanderson Jr., Tasha Hotch, Delbert Kadake and Ralph Wolfe.

Lisa Lang was elected chief justice, Cindy Leask was elected delegate/citizen of the year, and Simon Friday was elected to the youth representative position on the council known as the emerging leader.

[85th Tribal Assembly to be all business]

Several awards were given as well. Dennis Demmert was given the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Everyday Hero awards went to Virginia Oliver as Culture Bearer; Simon Friday as Emerging Leader; Matt Carle Sr. as Hold Each Other Up; Mary Cruise as Inspiring Educator; David R. Boxley as Language Warrior; Colleen Echohawk as Tribal Ally and Kyle Worl as Youth Mentor.

This year’s Assembly, Tlingit and Haida’s 85th titled “Our People, Our Land, Our Purpose” was a condensed version of what is typically a three-day event.

Having considered the health and safety precautions required to hold such an event in-person in addition to accommodating for all the out-of-state travel, Tlingit and Haida made the decision to hold the event online only, Peterson previously told the Empire. After hearing feedback from delegates and tribal citizens, Peterson said the three-day agenda was reduced to a single day dedicated solely to matters of government business.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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