Area high schools get glimpse of tribal ways

Chuck Sams, communications director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, speaks to local high school athletes on Aug. 29, 2018, about tribal history and beliefs.

MISSION — A longtime tribal employee, Chuck Sams, is moving up the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s administrative ladder.

The Tribes announced on Monday, July 20, that it was promoting Sams to deputy executive director, a move that will give him oversight over several departments in tribal government.

According to a tribal press release, the CTUIR Board of Trustees eliminated the position in 2017, but by 2019, the board instructed Executive Director Ted Wright to review the need for the position.

After hiring consulting firm Moss Adams to help with the review process, staff recommended reinstating the deputy director position but with restructured responsibilities.

Whereas the former position was on par with the executive director with the exception of some financial and administrative duties, the new deputy director position will oversee nine tribal government departments while the executive director will supervise seven.

The Tribes started conducting interviews once the position was revived, eventually selecting Sams for the job.

“We were fortunate to have several talented tribal member candidates, but the interview panel scored Mr. Sams highest,” Wright said in a statement. “He is clearly well-qualified to help lead the CTUIR forward in this new role.”

A tribal employee for the past eight years, Sams' most recent position before the promotion was acting as the communications director and spokesman.

The press release state’s that Sams has a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University and a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.

Sams will start his new job on July 27 as the Tribes begin the process to replace him as communications director.

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