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Singer And Tribal Chairman Jim Boyd Dies

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Colville business council chairman Jim Boyd was also a noted singer and songwriter.

Members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are grieving after learning of the death of tribal chairman Jim Boyd on Tuesday. Boyd was also an award-winning singer and songwriter.

Boyd’s friends have described him as a major figure in northwest Native circles.

“He is a real calming influence. He’s always helped people find solutions. And he had no ego wrapped up in anything; he was just a very good person,” said Michael Marchand, who succeeds Boyd as chairman and knew him for more than 20 years.

Boyd joined the Tribes’ business council in 2012 and became its chairman in 2014. He was standing for reelection when he died.

Boyd was also a well-known as a musician. He contributed four songs, co-written with author Sherman Alexie, to the 1998 movie Smoke Signals.

“I’m sure he could have done quite well just playing music,” said Marchand. “It’s not like he needed a job or anything. We’re kind of amazed that he would settle for being chairman. I think he was kind of like making a sacrifice to work for his people.”

Boyd won eight “Nammies,” or Native American Music Awards, including a lifetime achievement award in 20-15.

He was 60 years old. 

Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.
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