The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is made up of a Business Council. The business council has a representatives from each of the districts (Inchelium, Keller, Nespelem, Omak).

Mel Tonasket

Vice Chairman
Omak District Representative

Mel Tonasket is a member of the Colville Business Council, the governing body of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation, located in north central Washington state. Mr. Tonasket has served as an elected official for the Colville Tribes at various times since 1970 and has served as the Colville Tribes’ Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and other leadership positions during his years serving as an elected official.

From 1973-1976, Mr. Tonasket served as President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Mr. Tonasket led the Colville Tribes’ fight against termination and as President of NCAI mobilized national support for major tribal legislation, including the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act. He was a member of the American Indian Policy Review Commission for two years and has represented United States tribal governments at the World Council of Indigenous Peoples and at the Inter-American Indigenous Conference in Brazil.

Mel is from the Omak District. He is the 2nd Chair for Veterans Committee. He is the 1st Vice Chair for the Health and Human Services Committee, and he is a representative for the Natural Resources Committee and the Community Development Committee. 

Mr. Tonasket is also the Chairman for Upper Columbia United Tribes.

He loves to hunt, golf and lift weights. He had a wife for 48 years and three sons and five grandchildren. 

Work (509) 634-2205
Cell (509) 634-1123