This summer, the Coquille Indian Tribe lost its chief, Don Ivy, to 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.
“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 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.