THCC President Thomas will leave post in 2014

 

Tlingit-Haida Central Council President Ed Thomas speaks at Wednesday’s Native Issues Forum in Juneau. Thomas plans to step down in 2014. Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska

Ed Thomas is the elected leader of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

He’s telling tribal members that he will not run for re-election when his term ends next year.

Thomas became council president in 1984. He retired on short notice in 2007, but returned to win back the post three years later.

“I’m planning to give people a bit more chance to find my replacement and get more involved and have more of a say in who my successor is, rather than me just walking out,” he said in an interview following a forum at Juneau’s Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall.

The central council’s president has a full-time job, overseeing programs including vocational training, public safety, family and youth services, and tribal courts.

Thomas plays a leadership role in other Native organizations and businesses, including serving on Sealaska corporation’s board of directors.

He says retirement will allow him to continue that work.

“I’m involved in the National Congress of American Indians and the AFN also. So, it gets to be just a little bit challenging to do all that stuff. I’d like to focus on being a board member and helping out the tribe wherever I can,” he says.

The central council is federally recognized, but most member communities have their own tribal governments. The council lists 21 local affiliates, most in Southeast, with others in Anchorage, Seattle and San Francisco.

Thomas says he doesn’t plan to endorse a successor.

“I think it should be wide open. I think the people should decide. I think there’s some good candidates, but there are also some that would create more political issues than positive administrative opportunities for us,” he says.

The central council was founded in 1935. By the time he retires next year, Thomas will have been president for about a third of the organization’s existence.

 

Recent headlines

  • dollar bill money macro

    Per diems driving special session costs

    Lawmakers who represent areas outside Juneau receive $295 for each day of the special session. Juneau lawmakers receive $221.25 per day.
  • Caroline Hoover proudly pins an Alaska Territorial Guard medal on the front of her father's parka during an official discharge ceremony held Oct. 17 in Kipnuk, Alaska. David Martin is one of three surviving members of the Alaska Territorial Guard's Kipnuk unit. A total of 59 residents of Kipnuk, who volunteered to defend Alaska in the event of a Japanese invasion during World War II, were recognized during the ceremony. Kipnuk residents who served with the Alaska Territorial Guard from 1942-1947 were members of a U.S. Army component organized in response to attacks by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor. (Photo by Jerry Walton, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs cultural resource manager and native liaison/public domain/Wikimedia Commons)

    16 Alaska Territorial Guard vets to be honored in Anchorage

    Sixteen veterans of the Alaska Territorial Guard will be honored at a discharge ceremony today. Four of them are from Western Alaska.
  • Don Andrew Roguska looks out from an upstairs window of an historic Juneau house he bought in 2016 to restore. Zoning regulations have prevented him from rebuilding in the same style. (Photo by Jacob Resneck/KTOO)

    Juneau mulls relaxing zoning rules for historic houses

    The historic houses in Juneau and Douglas were predominately built by miners and fishermen long before today's zoning was put into place. That's prevented homeowners from restoring or rebuilding homes in these neighborhoods without running into conflict with the city's zoning laws -- a temporary fix may be on the way.
  • Young joins Afghanistan war skeptics in Congress

    Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young wants to know why Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. He has co-sponsored a bill that would end funding for the war in a year, unless the president and Congress affirm the need for it.
X