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Colville tribal members consider name change

Dan Nanamkin, center, in the war bonnet, and members of the Colville Confederated Tribe arrive on shores of the Columbia River, June 17, 2016, as five Inland Northwest tribes finish their journey to Kettle Falls in dugout canoes to call attention to their efforts to restore salmon runs above Grand Coulee Dam. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Dan Nanamkin, center, in the war bonnet, and members of the Colville Confederated Tribe arrive on shores of the Columbia River, June 17, 2016, as five Inland Northwest tribes finish their journey to Kettle Falls in dugout canoes to call attention to their efforts to restore salmon runs above Grand Coulee Dam. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

SEATTLE – A group of eastern Washington tribes is considering a name change to reclaim their indigenous identity.

KUOW-FM reports that Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation’s public affairs officer, Meghan Francis, said there’s really no connection to the name Colville, a Scottish businessman best known for governing the Hudson Bay Company.

Fort Colville was named for him. It was flooded during construction of the Grand Coulee Dam. His name was given to 12 bands that make up the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

In the next few weeks, the Colville Tribal Council will send ballots to nearly 9,500 tribal members across the region with the question: should they change the name or not?

Ballots will be counted in February. If the referendum is approved, the name changing process will begin this spring.