NESPELEM — The Colville Business Council has unanimously adopted a resolution voicing concern that the state redistricting could give the tribes fewer political champions.
The Washington State Redistricting Commission is working to redraw congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shifts by Nov. 15. Part of that task includes avoiding splitting up political subdivisions and areas recognized as communities of interest.
The Colville Tribes’ Sept. 9 resolution asks the Redistricting Commission to not make any redistricting changes inside of the Colville Reservation and places emphasis on the fact that doing so could impact the political representation of the Colville Tribes’ trust lands in Chelan County
“The Tribes has trust lands and commercial enterprises in Chelan County and we want to keep a third representative,” said Colville Business Council Chairman Andy Joseph, Jr. in an email to the Wenatchee World.
The Colville Reservation is currently in both the 7th and 12th state legislative districts as well as the 4th and 5th congressional districts.
According to Joseph, the resolution was necessary to formalize the Tribes’ position for the Redistricting Commission and to ensure their position was not mischaracterized or confused by third parties or in the media.
“The Tribes work with elected officials in both political parties to address needs related to the pandemic, wildfires, broadband connectivity, and other issues critical to our tribal communities,” he said in a press release.
“Being a constituent of multiple congressional and state representatives means that the Colville Tribes are in a stronger position to advance these issues, while consolidating districts on reservation lands and having less representation would leave us with fewer champions to call upon.”