April 4, 2020
Public Notice # 2020-01-07
Download Public_Notice_2020_01_07 council nominations

2020 Nominees for the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Tribal Council

Tribal Council passed Resolution-2020-22 on Thursday, April 2, 2020 to authorize the convening of a meeting to accept and record written nominations for the upcoming General Election. The special meeting was held on Saturday, April 4, 2020 for the purpose of receiving written nominations and to record those nominations into the minutes. The meeting was called to order at 10:45 by Chairwoman Denise Richards-Padgette. She expressed her gratitude to meet under the circumstances due to the Coronavirus.

Roll call was taken and all council members were present. Staff present included: Troy Ralstin, Executive Director; Election Board Chair, Emily Reed; Darryl Yarak, IT Director; Meing Yang, IT support staff; and Briannon Fraley, Chief Governance Officer.

A motion was made to approve the agenda by Leann Babcock-McCallum, seconded by Jeri Thompson to approve the agenda for nominations.

Election Board Chair Reed, publicly closed the nominations outside of the Howonquet Hall. The Board Chair reviewed the requirements for nominees: age requirements, clear background, and resident of one of the five counties of the service area for a period of one year prior to nomination. To nominate, Tribal members must be 18 years or older and a registered voter.

16 emails with multiple nominations were submitted via email to tbuckskin@tolowa.com

4 nominations were submitted to 140 Rowdy Creek Rd. Smith River, CA 95567

0 nominations were submitted to the PO Box 1080 Smith River, CA 95567

7 nominations were submitted in writing and dropped off at the Howonquet Hall in Smith River, CA 95567

The following nominations were read into the minutes by Election Board Chair Reed:

  • Adrienne Thomas nominated threepeople in one letter: Denise Padgette,Marvin Richards and Lenora Hall

  • Marcella Wells nominated Lenora Hall

  • Shelly Reynolds nominated Debbie Boardman

  • June Sullivan nominated Scott Sullivan

  • Amanda O’Connell nominated Denise Richards- Padgette

  • Tina Whipple Hall nominated Jalea Walker-Orcutt

  • Jeffery Mathison Jr. nominated Jalea Walker-Orcutt

  • Jolanda Ingram Obie nominated Jalea Walker-Orcutt

  • Rhonda Wood nominated Lenora Hall

  • Joell Swan nominated Lenora Hall

  • Joell Swan nominated Lenora Hall

  • Marta Brundin nominated Kara Brundin-Miller

  • Zackary Chapman nominated four people Leon Hinshaw, Leslie Payne, Greg Blodgett and Daniel Parke

  • Marva Jones nominated Lenora Hall

  • Jennifer Sanders nominated Zackary Chapman

  • Machelle Bates nominated Briannon Fraley

  • Loren Me’-lash-ne Bommelyn nominated Jaytuk Steinruck

  • Kurt Miller nominated Kara Miller

  • Harriett Sanders nominated Zackary Chapman

  • Ina Chapman nominated Zackary Chapman

  • Kayla Chapman nominated Zackary Chapman

  • William Bommelyn nominated Jaytuk Steinruck

  • Melinda Hinshaw nominated Lenora Hall

  • Melinda Hinshaw nominated Scott Sullivan

  • Joel Bravo nominated Kara Miller

  • Carl James nominated Terry Bray

  • Zane Richards nominated Marvin Richards Sr.

  • Cherry Villazana nominated Marvin Richards Sr.

  • Modesta Lopez nominated Marvin Richards Sr.

The Board Chair shared that the nominees have seven days to accept or decline their nomination. April 14, 2020 is that deadline and at that time acceptance letters of 300 words or less is also due if nominees would like the letters included in the election mail out packet.

Election Board and staff will be verifying eligibility and confirmation of nominations on Monday, April 6, 2020 and a verified list will be posted on social media and at tolowa-nsn.gov.

Discussion about the election process was had, and a recommendation from the Election Board will be forthcoming on an absentee ballot only Election for 2020 given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Motion by Leann, seconded by Joe to adjourn the meeting, motioned carried.

Download Public_Notice_Annual Mtg .pdf

Today, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation Tribal Council voted to reschedule Saturday’s Annual General Membership Meeting in response to the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Del Norte County, CA. However, the Tribal Council passed Resolution 2020-22 to authorize the convening of a meeting to accept and record written nominations for the upcoming General Election. The special meeting will be held electronically on Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 9am to 11am.

Nominations will be accepted via drop box at Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation’s headquarters or by email and regular mail. Please email nominations to tbuckskin@tolowa.com. The headquarters address is 140 Rowdy Creek Rd. Smith River, CA 95567. The nomination period closes at 11am on Saturday, April 4, at which time all nominations will be read and recorded into the Council meeting minutes. The names of those nominated will be announced on the Tribal website and Facebook page. The Tribal Council believes postponing the meeting is in the long-term best interest of the Nation as it will guarantee the safety of all Tribal citizens. A new date for the Annual Meeting will be announced after the crisis has concluded.

Nation implements Emergency Operations Plan
Tribal offices closed, government services available by phone

Download Public Notice_Temp Business Hours_3-25-20

Smith River, CA – The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation is working creatively to ensure Tribal citizens continue to have access to government services during the global COVID-19 crisis.

The Tribal Council issued a state of emergency declaration on Thursday, March 19. All Tribal buildings have been closed to the public for the next two weeks as a precautionary measure. During this time period, Tribal government services will only be available by phone from Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm. Services providers can be reached at (707) 487-9255. The two-week timeframe will be reevaluated next week to determine the most prudent course of action.

The Nation is providing regular updates to Tribal citizens and the general public via social media, the website and a phone service called One Call Now.

For additional information about Tribal services, please call (707) 487-9255


WHO Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation

WHAT Tribal services available by phone

WHEN 8 am to 5 pm – Mon. thru Thurs.

WHERE Offices closed to public

Date: March 24, 2020
Contact: Briannon Fraley, (707) 487-9255 x 1125
Download Press Release_closed to public_COVID19_.3.24.20_revised


Smith River, CA – The Tolowa Dee-ni Nation is working creatively to ensure Tribal citizens continue to have access to government services during the global COVID-19 crisis.

“We are modifying our procedures to keep our community and staff safe, while ensuring the continuity of our operations.” Said Denise Richards-Padgette, the Chairperson of the Tolowa Dee- ni’ Nation Tribal Council.

For the next two weeks, temporary business hours have been established. All Tribal buildings will be closed to the public. Services will be accessible Monday through Thursday 8-5 by calling (707) 487- 9255. Crisis services for domestic violence through the Shu’-‘aa-xuu-dvn Program will remain a
24/7 service. Tribal service providers can also be reached by email. All contacts can be found at tolowa-nsn.gov. This time frame is based on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-in-place order to prevent the spread of the virus. Service recipients are asked to follow the US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to maintain a six-feet of personal space.

To mobilize Tribal staff and resources toward addressing the predicted near and far term impacts of the global pandemic, the Tribal Council issued a state of emergency declaration on Thursday, March 19. The following day all Tribal offices were closed to the public to protect the health of Tribal
citizens and staff. Tribal personnel are practicing social distancing and taking advantage of digital communication tools, such as teleconferencing, to maintain a healthy and productive work environment. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Tribal Government is functioning
near its full capacity and is working under an Emergency Operations Plan. The plan serves as the foundation of the Nation’s multi-pronged effort to anticipate and overcome any adverse, local issues that may arise as a result of the worldwide crisis.

At present, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the local area. The Nation has postponed all large social events, including the Annual Tribal Membership Meeting. For the purpose of preventing a large number of people from gathering in close proximity, a scaled down version of
the yearly meeting is happening on Saturday, April 4. Additionally, the in-classroom component of the Howonquet Head Start is suspended until April 10. Head Start staff are still providing homework packets and meals to all students.

The Tribal Council and Tribal Government personnel are working day and night to make certain the Nation remains strong during and after this unparalleled pandemic.

The Incident Command team that will deploy regular notices to Tribal Citizens, and the general public during this time of crisis via social media, the website, and a phone service called One Call Now. For additional information about Tribal services, please call (707) 487-9255.