In Referendum, Tribal Members Vote To Keep the Name 'Colville'

Feb 9, 2018

It looks like the Confederated Tribes of the Colville will be keeping their name, for now. Tribal members have rejected a referendum that would have kicked off a name-changing process.

Twelve bands make up the Confederated Tribes of the Colville. Since last summer, the tribal council has been considering whether to drop ‘Colville’ from their name. According to a spokeswoman, the council would like a new name to reflect their cultural connection to the Columbia River.

Andrew Colville was a Scottish businessman. He ran the Hudson's Bay Company, but as far as anyone affiliated with the tribes can tell, Colville never set foot in Northeastern Washington, where the reservation is located.

In December, ballots were mailed to nearly 9,500 tribal members. According to the Tribal Tribune, the Tribes' officials publication, fewer than 2,000 ballots were returned.

The Tribune said the final count showed 1,630 votes against and 296 for changing the name of the Colville Tribes.

Results of the referendum are non binding, which means a name change is still possible.