The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is a sovereign nation governed by a 14-person board of adult Colville tribal members officially titled the Colville Business Council and informally called the tribal council.
On February 26, 1938, the United States federal government approved the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation's Constitution and By-Laws and from this document, the Colville Business Council was established as the governing board of the Tribes.
The Confederated Tribes' Constitution divides the Colville Indian Reservation into four voting districts based on the former aboriginal territories of the 12 groups or bands of Colville Indian People including: the Omak District, the Nespelem District, the Keller District, and the Inchelium District.
Eligible adult Colville tribal members may register in one of the districts to vote in the yearly tribal election proceedings for seven open leadership positions. On-reservation voting takes place at designated polling sites in the communities of Omak, Nespelem, Keller, and Inchelium. Eligible tribal voters may also choose to vote by an established absentee voting method.
In addition, eligible adult Colville tribal members may become certified candidates in the yearly election for seven of the 14 two-year council terms. The election process includes a Primary Election held in May prior to the General Election in June.
In mid-July, the seven newly elected tribal council members are seated in a special ceremony conducted by the Colville Business Council and the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the council's chambers at Nespelem.
The entire 14-member tribal council conducts its reorganization meeting directly after the seven new council members have taken their oath of office. During this meeting, the Colville Business Council selects its Executive Committee, the chairman, vice-chairman and secretary, and the chairpersons for each of the council committees that will govern tribal operations during the next 12 months.
The Colville Business Council oversees a thriving, multi-million dollar administration from its headquarters on the Colville Indian Reservation at Nespelem, Washington. Enhancing the quality of life for the Colville Indian People and protecting the resources of the Colville Indian Reservation are the monumental considerations addressed in each yearly fiscal cycle by the tribal council.
Members of the Colville Business Council are salaried while in office.