Please see the PDF link below for the full ordinance.
7 April 2020
Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee
SQCC Operations during the COVID-19 shut down
To protect the community and especially our elders, Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee activities have been necessarily curtailed or adjusted. As described below, the Longhouse is closed except for limited wake services. The spring trip to the Medicine Tree will not be conducted as a large group, but instead by individual elders and others who will be going there to leave prayers and offerings. Tribal members who have taken part in the past are encouraged to go on their own. We will also be handling the Bitterroot Ceremony and Feast differently this year. Individual elders and others will be welcoming the return of the Bitterroot with prayers, and will dig a few to give thanks and offer prayers for it and all the plants to follow during the year. In accordance with what the elders have passed down to us, everyone is then free to go and dig for themselves and their families. SQCC will make an announcement when that has been done.
At the same time, the SQCC is continuing operations during the CSKT Shelter in Place order, with employees carrying out responsibilities electronically from home using CSKT virtual office. SQCC Receptionist Nalani Linsebigler has forwarded all incoming calls to the main SQCC office to her personal cell phone to receive and forward calls and messages. Sadie Peone, SQCC Historical Collections Manager and Office Manager, is continuing to maintain books and fulfill accounting procedures, reports, and payroll to ensure continued pay for staff, budget balancing, and accountability. Language teachers and students have shifted to daily online classes through Google Meet.
SQCC staff are calling members of the Elders Advisory Council at least each week to check in on them, see if they have any questions, and pass on any information or guidance received from Council or Tribal Health regarding the novel coronavirus.
SQCC has issued emergency guidelines for the Longhouse during the shut down. The facility is only being used for wakes, and these are now limited to one night, and to the participation of immediate family and pallbearers. SQCC maintenance workers are cleaning the facility prior to the wake and after services are completed, but not during the services. SQCC is requiring maintenance workers to use masks and gloves and other recommended precautions when disinfecting the premises after services. SQCC arranged with CSKT maintenance to conduct a disinfectant fogging of the building on April 1. SQCC has also produced, and is distributing to staff, elders, and language students, a one-page summary of recommended measures to maximize protection against the virus and its transmission.
Our elders are precious and irreplaceable, and are most at risk from this virus. Over the last few years, we have already lost far too many of our remaining fluent speakers. We hope that the CSKT can quickly gain the capacity to test and monitor all elders, provide them with masks, and deliver any other special measures recommended by Tribal Health.
SQCC is continuing its work with diligence and resilience. We can’t function without our staff continuing to proceed in some way, and we are finding ways to do that. We hold in our hearts that the cause of cultural survival and revitalization is a sacred responsibility. It is crucial to the well-being, sovereignty, and continuance of the CSKT as a whole. The ancestors sacrificed greatly to ensure that our cultural ways, knowledge, and language are still here with us today. So our work is never done, and we must find a way to make it through this great challenge.
Staff contact hours, emails and phone numbers:
SQCC office number: 406-745-4572
CSKT main number: 406-675-2700 (you can then enter our office extension numbers)
SQCC FB page: www.facebook.com/Salish-Pend-dOreille-Culture
Director: Antoine Incashola, Sr. (M-F 8:00am-4:30pm)
Receptionist: Nalani Linsebigler M-F (8:00am-4:30pm)
Senior Translator & Language Advisor: Shirley Trahan (M-F 9:00am-5:30pm)
Séliš Language Coordinator: Chaney Bell (M-F 8:00am-4:30pm)
History & Ethnogeography Projects Coordinator: Thompson Smith (M-TH 7:00am-5:30pm)
Historical Collections Manager / Office Manager: Sadie Peone (M-TH 9:00am-4:00pm)
Translator / Interviewer: Alan “Chauncey” Beaverhead (M-TH 7:00am-5:30pm)
Séliš Language Teacher: Steve Arca (M-F 8:00am-4:30pm)
Longhouse Caretaker: Richard Alexander (M-TH 7:00am-5:30pm)
CSKT COVID-19 call center: 406-849-5798
Hours of operation: Monday-Friday 8:00am - 4:30pm
April 7, 2020
The partial shutdown of the CSKT government remains in place by declaration of the Tribal Council.
First declared on March 16, and extended indefinitely on March 24, 2020, Tribal Council is reviewing the partial shutdown as the COVID-19 situation develops. The order was passed to slow the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
No end date has been given, but Council is watching the COVID situation closely.
Any changes to our current status will be announced on CSKT.ORG, your work email, RAVE Alerts and The Char-Koosta News Facebook Page, and the weekly print version of the paper.