There’ll be a changing of the guard in Hoopa tomorrow, as newly elected tribal chairman Byron Nelson Jr. takes over from Ryan Jackson, who has served in the position since 2015. 


Speaking with the Outpost this morning, Nelson said that he wants to see more “follow-through” on various tribal project — particularly, economic development issues.

“I’ll be a hands-on type of a chairman,” Nelson said. “The council really can’t do it on their own. The chairman has a lot of authority to drive these things, and that’s what I plan on doing.”

He’ll presumably remain skeptical of one particular economic development initiative, though — as we reported last month, Nelson is not a fan of opening up the valley to cannabis cultivation. And in this election, at least, tribal members seemed to back him up: They narrowly voted down an initiative that would have removed all marijuana-specific language in the tribal code, leaving the crop to be regulated as all other agriculture is and cannabis businesses to be regulated no differently than other business.

Nelson told the Outpost he would work to put another initiative on the ballot to reverse the controversial 2018 vote that legalized cannabis on the reservation. “It seems like the majority of the people really don’t want it at all,” Nelson said.

Full results from the Hoopa Valley Tribal Election Office can be found below. There will be a swearing-in ceremony tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the Hoopa Neighborhood Facility Gym. Details available at this link.


CHAIRMAN Local Absentee Total
Ryan Jackson 290 96 386
Byron Nelson Jr. 384 115 499
No vote 9 7 16

Soctish/Chenone District Local Absentee Total
Arnold “Deacon” Ferris 246 91 337
Joe Davis 426 119 545
No vote 11 8 19

Agency Field Local Absentee Total
Oscar “Tyke” Billings 442 119 541
Virgil G. Doolittle 244 92 336
No vote 17 7 24

Bald Hill District Local Absentee Total
Leonard Masten Jr. 258 77 335
Darcy A. Baldy-Miller 406 135 541
No vote 19 6 25

Hostler/Matilton Distict Local Absentee Total
Leilani Pole 452 151 603
No vote 231 67 298

Election Board Local Absentee Total
Marla Jackson 379 130 509
No vote 304 88 392

Alternate Election Board Local Absentee Total
Manuel Mattz 533 175 708
No vote 150 43 193

Title 34: Cultivation Ordinance Local Absentee Total
Yes 266 106 372
No 292 94 386
No vote 125 18 143