Officers Also Selected for 2023
Marita “Selene” Rilatos, Alfred “Buddy” Lane IV and Loraine Butler, all from Siletz, Ore., were elected to the Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in elections held Saturday.
Rilatos was re-elected with 345 votes, Lane was elected with 281 votes and Butler was re-elected with 259 votes. Fourteen candidates ran for the three open positions and the three who received the most votes were elected.
These individuals will serve with Sharon Edenfield, Angela Ramirez and Frank Aspria, all from Siletz, whose terms expire in 2024; and Alfred “Bud” Lane III and Bonnie Petersen, both from Siletz, and Delores Pigsley, from Keizer, Ore., whose terms expire in 2025. Term of office is three years for each position on the nine-member council.
Seven hundred ninety-five (795) ballots were returned and accepted. Enrolled members of the Siletz Tribe who are age 18 and older are eligible to vote in Tribal elections. The Tribe has more than 5,600 enrolled members.
The swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected council members took place today. Officers are elected on an annual basis and those selected for 2023 include:
- Delores Pigsley, chairman
- Bud Lane, vice chairman
- Sharon Edenfield, treasurer
- Bonnie Petersen, secretary
Pigsley currently has served 37.5 years as Tribal chairman out of 44 years on the council, while Bud Lane has 25; Loraine Butler, 18; Sharon Edenfield, nearly 13 years; Angela Ramirez, 5 years; Selene Rilatos, 3 years; Frank Aspria, 2 years; and Bonnie Petersen, 1 year.
The Siletz Tribe has spent the last 46 years rebuilding its government and economic structure. The signing of Public Law 95-195 in 1977, which restored government-to-government relations between the Siletz Tribe and the federal government, started this process. The Siletz Tribe was the second in the nation – and the first in Oregon – to achieve restoration.
The Siletz Tribe was among the first to become a self-governance Tribe, giving Tribal government more control over services provided to Tribal members. Under self-governance, the U.S. government provides general funding to the Tribe (rather than to specific programs), then Tribal employees and the Tribal Council decide how funds will be spent.
Significant Tribal accomplishments since Restoration include opening the original health clinic in 1991 and a new much larger clinic in 2010; building more than 150 homes and multiple dwellings for Tribal members, including 28 units at Neachesna Village in Lincoln City that have opened since 2009, 19 apartments in Siletz that opened in 2010, 20 homes in the Tillamook subdivision in Siletz that have opened since 2013; and 10 Workforce Housing townhouses in Lincoln City that opened in 2021; completing the Siletz Dance House in 1996; opening the Tenas Illahee Childcare Center in 2003; opening the Tillicum Fitness Center and a new USDA food distribution warehouse in Siletz in 2008; and opening the Siletz Recreation Center in 2009.
Through its economic development division, the Siletz Tribal Business Corporation, the Tribe purchased the Lincoln Shores office complex in Lincoln City in 2001 and opened the Siletz Gas & Mini-Mart in Siletz in 2004, the Logan Road RV Park in Lincoln City in 2004 and the Hee Hee Illahee RV Resort in Salem in 2006.
Tribal offices in Portland, Salem and Eugene are housed in Tribally owned buildings.
The Tribe also played a lead role in opening Siletz Valley School in 2003 and Siletz Valley Early College Academy in 2006.
The Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society (STAHS) was formed in 2013 as a nonprofit to enhance the Tribe’s ability to develop the Siletz Tribal Cultural Center. It recently completed its $2.5 million capital campaign for the center. STAHS also helps the Tribe with acquiring object and archival collections.
Most recently, the Tribe is also developing a property in Keizer, Ore., co-owned with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. The property, called Chemawa Station, is right on I-5 and currently includes a 7-11 Fueling and Convenience Store plus a Chick-fil-A. More tenants are slated to be developed in the near future.
The Siletz Tribe also has helped fund two affordable housing projects in Northeast Portland, each of which has 20 units designated Indian Preference, with Siletz households having first preference in admissions.
Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City opened in 1995. In 2004, the Siletz Tribe purchased the former Shilo Inn adjacent to the casino and opened Chinook Winds Casino Resort. Chinook Winds Golf Resort opened in 2005 when the Tribe purchased the former Lakeside Golf and Fitness Center in Lincoln City.
The combination of Tribal employees and those at Chinook Winds Casino Resort has made the Siletz Tribe the largest employer in Lincoln County.
The Siletz Tribe has honored its tradition of sharing within the community by distributing more than $20.8 million through the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and other Tribal resources. Chinook Winds has donated more than $6.5 million in cash and fund-raising items since 1995. It also provides in-kind donations of convention space for various fund-raisers as well as technical support, advertising and manpower for events.