The Kalispel Tribe is recognized as a sovereign nation by the Federal Government, which means the Tribe has the power to create its own government and laws. 

Our sovereignty is inherent to us as a people and provides the foundation for our ability to make our own laws and be governed by those laws. Sovereign tribal governments protect their members and reservations lands, and they maintain ownership of resources that were established through treaties and by presidential executive orders.

Sovereignty status transcends boundaries and property lines. This unique status enables a tribe to enter into business and economic development endeavors as determined by tribal governments. Indian tribes existed as sovereign governments long before Europeans settled in North America. The U.S. Government recognizes and negotiates with many tribes as sovereign nations.

Our Tribal Council

Glen D. Nenema

Chairman and CEO

Glen has served as Chairman for the Kalispel’s Business Committee for over 40 years. In his capacity as Chairman, his responsibilities include: presiding over all Business Committee meetings, meeting with federal, state and local politicians and agencies regarding Kalispel Tribal interests, and advocate for positive legislature and policies that will reflect the best interests of the Kalispel Tribe.

Glen graduated from Cusick High School in Cusick, Washington in 1970.

This coming June will mark his 45th year of service to the Tribe, 41st as Chairman. His current term is through June of 2020.

Curt Holmes

Vice Chairman and General Manager Public & Governmental Affairs

Curt Holmes has 20 years of Tribal service with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians located in Usk, Washington. He currently serves on the Kalispel Business Committee and is the Executive Director of Public and Governmental Affairs and serves as the Tribe’s spokesman. In this role, Curt works collaboratively with the Chief Operating Officer in developing, implementing and overseeing the Tribe’s public and governmental affairs strategies.

Curt’s board and committee work is expansive and includes service on the Kalispel Economic Enterprise Authority Board, the Camas Path Board as Chairman and Washington Indian Gaming Association’s Executive Board. Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, the Impact Mitigation Fund Committee and has served on the Kalispel Gaming Enterprise Board and on the Advisory Committee for the Relicensing of Box Canyon Dam. Additionally, Curt has served over 14 years on the Kalispel Business Committee before his re-election in June 2017.

Born in 1973, Curt is a graduate of Cusick High School in Cusick, Washington where he played football and basketball. Curt graduated with honors from Whitworth University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Management. He grew up on the Kalispel Reservation in Usk, Washington where he now lives with his five children and his wife Amber.

This summer will mark his 15th year on the Business Council, he is currently serving his term through June 2020.

Betty Jo Piengkham

Kalispel Business Committee Secretary and Canoe Culture Coordinator

Betty Jo has 27 years of Tribal service with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. In her current position as a member of the Kalispel Business Committee she is responsible for helping to oversee all major business decisions affecting the Tribe.

Prior to her election on the business committee she served the Tribe in varying capacities, she currently serves the Tribe in our Culture Department. Her role focuses on canoe culture and medicinal plants. Her passion is to share knowledge of our traditional medicines and uses.

Betty Jo raised five sons on the Kalispel Indian Reservation where she lives today with her husband Som.

This coming June will mark her 13th year of service on the Business Committee, she is currently serving a term through June of 2021.

Nick Pierre

Kalispel Business Committee and General Manager Northern Quest Resort & Casino

Curt Holmes has 20 years of Tribal service with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians located in Usk, Washington. He currently serves on the Kalispel Business Committee and is the Executive Director of Public and Governmental Affairs and serves as the Tribe’s spokesman. In this role, Curt works collaboratively with the Chief Operating Officer in developing, implementing and overseeing the Tribe’s public and governmental affairs strategies.

Curt’s board and committee work is expansive and includes service on the Kalispel Economic Enterprise Authority Board, the Camas Path Board as Chairman and Washington Indian Gaming Association’s Executive Board. Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians, the Impact Mitigation Fund Committee and has served on the Kalispel Gaming Enterprise Board and on the Advisory Committee for the Relicensing of Box Canyon Dam. Additionally, Curt has served over 14 years on the Kalispel Business Committee before his re-election in June 2017.

Born in 1973, Curt is a graduate of Cusick High School in Cusick, Washington where he played football and basketball. Curt graduated with honors from Whitworth University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Management. He grew up on the Kalispel Reservation in Usk, Washington where he now lives with his five children and his wife Amber.

This summer will mark his 15th year on the Business Council, he is currently serving his term through June 2020.

Sonny Bigsmoke

Kalispel Business Committee and Construction Manager

Betty Jo has 27 years of Tribal service with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. In her current position as a member of the Kalispel Business Committee she is responsible for helping to oversee all major business decisions affecting the Tribe.

Prior to her election on the business committee she served the Tribe in varying capacities, she currently serves the Tribe in our Culture Department. Her role focuses on canoe culture and medicinal plants. Her passion is to share knowledge of our traditional medicines and uses.

Betty Jo raised five sons on the Kalispel Indian Reservation where she lives today with her husband Som.

This coming June will mark her 13th year of service on the Business Committee, she is currently serving a term through June of 2021.

Our Business Council

The Kalispel Business Council, consisting of five Tribal members, is a self-governing entity which oversees services, programs, business endeavors and is the policy making body of the Tribe with legislative authority. Council members are democratically elected by the tribal membership and serve three-year terms. The Kalispel have enjoyed stable government for generations as exemplified by our current chairman, Glen Nenema, who has held the Chairmanship for close to 30 years.

The mission of the Business Council is to guide tribal services and promote the positive advancement of its sovereign status.

The Business Council aims to reach consensus on all matters. All aspects of an issue are thoroughly discussed before reaching a decision.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BUSINESS COUNCIL
  • Developing policy
  • Protect tribal interests
  • Legislating
  • Oversee business development
  • Create short and long term goals