Tulalip Tribes leader retires after four decades on board

After 44 years on the board of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, Stan Jones decided not to seek re-election this year.

“This is the right time for me,” Jones, 83, told The Everett Herald.

Jones is the longest serving member of the board. He started in 1966, when the tribe had just three employees -- now it has 3,600.

“All generations seem to be taken with Stan,” Wayne Williams, 81, told the paper. “They like and respect and trust him. I think that was the marvelous thing. To be trusted by your people is the mark of a real leader.”

Jones helped the tribe with the landmark Boldt fishing rights case, helped review tribal traditions and met with Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

"Because of his visionary leadership, the Tulalip Tribes have become known across the country for their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to their culture,” Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) said. “The government-to-government relationship Washington state now enjoys with the Tulalip Tribes and other tribal governments was shaped by his pragmatic approach to working together to solve common problems.”

Jones had a rough start in life. He spent three years being treated for tuberculosis in a hospital, where his older brother died.

He returned to the reservation when he was 12 but drifted from home to home before dropping out of school after the eighth grade. He ended up serving in the U.S. Marines during World War II.

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Elder has helped Tulalip Tribes grow and prosper (The Everett Herald 4/18)