Chinook Indian Nationchinook photocanoechinook photo

Chinook art

member log-in

Meet Your Tribal Council


  • R Gardner
  • S Robinson
  • P Disney
  • T Johnson
  • G. Rife
  • J Pulliam
  • C Shepherd
  • J Wekell
  • G Johnson

Chairman Ray GardnerVice Chair Sam Robinson is acting Chairman.
Chairman Ray Gardner is on medical leave.

Birthplace: South Bend, WA

Current Residence: Menlo, WA

Current Family Information: Spouse: Jill

Family Descendency: Hawks (Huckswelt)

Education: South Bend High, 1974

Employment Information and Location: State of Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. Transportation Specialist/ Investigator IV, working out of Satsop.

Liaison between WUTC and the Native American Tribes of Washington, and City, State, federal and Law Enforcement Agencies.

Head investigator for all fatalities involving the railroad in the state.

Special projects. This involves working with other agencies as well as Tribes to ensure that safety concerns are addressed around railroad property.

Hobbies: Fishing.

Chinook Committee Involvement:
Fisheries Committee - Chairman

Year Elected to Council: Elected June 2001

Goals While on the Council: It would be hard to pick one main goal to work on while on the council. There are many issues that need to be worked on. A couple examples of these are Acknowledgment, which is the highest priority, and getting the enrollment issues straightened out. One of my goals are to help get our government ready to start negotiations with the Federal and State governments once we have our Acknowledgment

Additional Personal Information: I have been fortunate with my job to be able to work with Native American Tribes in our state as well as in Oregon and Idaho. I have also spent a lot of time working with City, State, and Federal Law Enforcement agencies. With this opportunity, I have been able to establish many good contacts within these different groups that will be able to help the Tribe in our endeavors. I have been fortunate to receive training in Law Enforcement, Management, Law and Rule writing, and Government relations. This training will help me to be of assistance to the Tribe. I am also Executive Board Member of American Rivers in Washington DC.

I would like to take this time to ask for Tribal members to get involved with the committees. The committees are very important to the tribe and need to have more help with their work. The committees play a very important part in the operation of the Tribe. The committees gather information and bring it completed and detailed to the Council, which in turn helps them to make decisions. By doing this, it allows the Council to work on the governing of the Tribe.

~ return to top ~

Samuel Robinson - Acting Chairman (Vice-Chairman)

Sam RobinsonBirthplace: South Bend, WA

Current Residence: Vancouver, WA

Current Family Information: Wife: Mildred Daughters: Casandra, Rebecca

Family Descendency: Hawks (Huckswelt)

Education: LaCenter High, Clark Collage

Employment Information and Location: Plant Manager for Calvert Co. Inc (34yrs in 2012) Prior to that four years in the U.S. Army.

Hobbies: Drumming ,Carving and Canoeing Speaking in public about the Chinook Indian Nation. Being a Chupi (Grandpa) and helping share some of the Chinook ways with my Granddaughter Destany.

Chinook Committee Involvement:
Alvina Frisbie Scholarship Foundation since 2001

Year first elected to Council:2001

Goals While on the Council:Obtaining Chinook restoration. Making sure we keep the doors open at our tribal office. Obtaining social services for our tribal members. Educating and getting support from the public for the Chinook Indian Nationas we move ahead.

Additional Personal Information: On the board for the Friends of the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge.
Serving on the Cathlapotle Plankhouse Committee.
Serving on the board for the Chinook Web-site in partnership with the Center for Columbia River History.
Working with the Title Seven Program (Battle Ground,Evergreen,Vancouver and Camas School Dist.)
Serving as a Tribal Elder.

Tribal Secretary Peggy Disney

Peggy DisneyBirthplace: Raymond, WA

Current Residence: Bay Center, WA

Current Family Information: Spouse: Terry Disney Sons: (1) Marshall Daughters: (2) Falan, Mataya

Family Descendency: Pickernell, Tonwah, Aubichon-Elmermach

Education: South Bend High, 1977

Employment Information and Location: Self-Employed, Bay Center, WA

Hobbies: Cultural activities with the immediate family. Parents, brothers, sisters, etc. Camping, gathering berries, basket materials, cedar strip, etc. weaving.

Chinook Committee Involvement: No Committee involvement at this time. I have previously been on the Cultural Committee, Enrollment Committee, and the Communications Committee.

Goals While on the Council: Reach the final goal for the Tribe-Recognition from the U.S. Government!!

Additional Personal Information: I have lived my entire life in Chinook Country, always leaning toward the best thing for Chinook.

Tony Johnson- Position 5

Charlie FunkBirthplace: South Bend, WA

Current Residence: Willapa Bay, WA

Current Family Information: Wife Mechele and five children Mary, Sam, Tahoma, Ferrill and Maybelle.

Family Descendency: Pickernell and Ero families.

Education: Art and Anthropology. University of Washington and Central Washington University

Employment Information and Location: Education Director Shoalwaterbay Indian Tribe

Hobbies: I am driven by the art and lifeways of our ancestors. My family and I devote our time to these traditions. I am a founding member of our canoe family and serve as a skipper with the group. I continue to practice art and to teach language.

Chinook Committee Involvement: Cultural Committee, Enrollment Committee

Year First Elected: 2014

Goals While on the Council: I have had the benefit of many great teachers. These Chinook elders shared experiences, stories, teachings and opinions with me that I want to see carry forward.

Additional Personal Information:

Gina Rife

janeJane Pulliam -

Birthplace: Puyallup, WA

Current Residence: Bay Center, WA

Current Family Information: married to Ron Pulliam

Family Descendency: Pickernell

Year of Election: 2012

Employment: Self-employeed graphic and web designer. My husband started the business, Nautilus Design, in 1985 and I came on board in 1994. I love my work!

Hobbies: I really enjoy crafting with the craft group in Bay Center but quilting is my favorite.

Committees: Culture Committee and Scribe for the Communications Committee. Tribal webmaster.

Goals While on Council: I want to get more tribal members involved with the tribe. I've been reaching out to people and inviting them to events and encouraging them to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to get to know other tribal members. I can say from first-hand experience that volunteering has made my life fuller and richer.

I have also been working to encourage our committees to grow and work hand-in-hand with the council. And finally I'd like to see a strong Development Committee in place to ensure our finincial future.

Carol Shepherd- Position 2

Carol ShepherdBirthplace: Astoria, Oregon

Current Residence: Hammond, Oregon

Current Family Information: Single, adult daughter and son

Family Descendency: Concomly, Rondeau, Ducheney, Elliott, Henry, Rubens, Petersen, Shepherd

Education: Bachelor’s in Finance, University of Oregon

Employment Information and Location: Administrative Assistant, Columbia River Maritime Museum

Hobbies: Music – French horn and voice, Drumming, Volunteer with the Astoria Music Festival as Artistic Administrator

Chinook Committee Involvement: Former member of the Cultural Committee, Currently on the Tribal Lands Committee

First Elected to the Council: 2013

Goals While on the Council: Restoration of the Tribe’s Federal Recognition; write grants and find ways to raise funds to keep the office open and pay office staff.

Jeremy WekellJeremy Wekell

Birthplace: Tacoma ,WA

Current Residence: Tacoma, WA

Current Family Information:

Family Descendency: Pickernell

Education:Northwest Indian College

Employment Information and Location: Al'Ta Counseling & Testing. I am the founder of the agency. Our primary focus is on US DOT compliance with drug and alcohol policy. In addition we assist people with accessing drug and alcohol treatment.
Durwood Properties- I have a small apartment building, I like providing a nice home for my tenants.

Hobbies: Tribal activities are one of my favorite hobbies. I really enjoy 1st salmon & the story gathering.

In addition I enjoy most outdoor activities, including hiking camping and canoeing (both Tribal canoeing and hobby canoeing).

Lately I have been really involved with remodeling projects, I find them fun & challenging.

Chinook Committee Involvement:
Health & Social Services since 2005
Tribal Lands Committee, which I formed in 2011

First Year Elected to Council: 2011

Goals While on Council: My ultimate goal is the restoration of federal recognition of the Chinook people. With restoration I would like to see a priority placed on healthcare and education.

Additional Personal Information:I like to be open and available for people to contact me. If you have anything to discuss, please email me: Jeremy

Gary JohnsonGary Johnson Position #8

Birthplace: South Bend, Washington

Current Residence: South Bend, Washington

Current Family Information: Wife: Cristy, Son: K.C. Johnson, wife Kristeen, children, Elizabeth & A.J. Son: Tony, wife Mechelle, children, Mary, Sam, Tahoma, Ferrill, & Maybelle

Family Descendency: Pickernell / Ero (Herioux)

Education: MA Education

Employment Information and Location: Retired. 41 years Educational Counselor & Football/Basketball coaching. South Bend/Bay Center Indian Education Director

Hobbies: Gardening, Sports,& Paddle making

Chinook Committee Involvement: Culture Committee since 1994

Year First Elected: 1971

Goals While on the Council: Unity, Tribal recognition, Tribal Financial security, Building a stronger Tribal community, & Cultural Education

Additional Personal Information: Canoe Family Member