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Coquille Indian Tribe names new chief

Four Coquille Tribal Council members take the oath of office Oct. 29 (L to R: Jason Younker was elected Oct. 15 as chief; Jackie Chambers is the new secretary-treasurer; Laurabeth Barton retains her seat as representative No. 1; and Brenda Meade was re-elected as chairman. Vice Chair Jon Ivy administered the oath.
Photo provided by the Coquille Tribe.
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Four Coquille Tribal Council members take the oath of office Oct. 29 (L to R: Jason Younker was elected Oct. 15 as chief; Jackie Chambers is the new secretary-treasurer; Laurabeth Barton retains her seat as representative No. 1; and Brenda Meade was re-elected as chairman. Vice Chair Jon Ivy administered the oath.

This summer, the Coquille Indian tribe lost its chief, Don Ivy, from cancer. Now a new chief has been sworn in.

Jason Younker is the University of Oregon’s Assistant Vice President and Advisor to the President on Sovereignty and Government-to-Government Relations, and will balance those duties as the new chief of the Coquille Tribe based in Coos Bay.

Younker says he’ll be a voting member of the tribal council, which has many issues to address.

younker-rm-ivycit.jpg
KLCC; Coquille Tribe

“Global warming because it affects the salmon which are very precious to us,” Younker told KLCC. “And pollution, that also affects everything around us.

“We want our tribe and neighbors to be conscious of what took place on this landscape, so that we have this historical context to learn from.”

Younker was cousin to the Don Ivy, who died in July after a seven month battle with cancer. Younker says there’s no one who can fill Ivy’s shoes, and he regrets the circumstances that led to him taking over as chief.

Copyright 2021 KLCC. To see more, visit KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.