On the final day of the 88th annual Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Tribal Assembly, delegates reelected Aurora Lehr as the tribe’s associate justice and elected Kugíin-g Dúu Lauryn Framke as the tribe’s emerging leader.
“I am very excited to be reelected,” Lehr told the Empire. “I am excited to have our court system continue to grow.”
Lehr, who is Tlingit, has served in her position as the tribe’s associate justice since 2011 and has also served several other tribal positions including tribal court judge, a delegate representing Seattle, Executive Council youth representative and Miss Tlingit and Haida.
Lehr said she feels honored to be elected one again, especially as the only Tlingit and Haida tribal citizen who was running for the position.
Lehr, who studied law at the University of Washington School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington, currently serves as a tribal relations specialist for the U.S. Forest Service.
Framke, who is both Tlingit and Haida, told the Empire she feels “really honored” to have been voted by the delegates as this year’s emerging leader, a position that allows her to attend Executive Council meetings and speak on any business that is before the Executive Council.
“I am really honored, I’m really excited for this opportunity, and I feel grateful to speak up for you and to speak for my people,” she said. “I’m just really excited — it kind of feels unreal right now.”
Framke, who in 2022 graduated from the University of Alaska Southeast with a bachelor’s degree in Alaska Native languages and studies, said she is passionate about language revitalization and connecting youth to their culture. For the past seven years, Framke has been learning the Haida language, X̱aad Kíl, and wants to continue to learn the language and share that knowledge with others.
In her new role, she said she hopes to advocate for those passions and make sure the voice of the youth are being heard.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807. Follow her on Twitter at @clariselarson.