Selis Qlispe tribal elder Tony Incashola Sr., a tireless advocate for the preservation of language and culture, died Tuesday. He was 75.
Incashola served as the director of the Selis Qlispe Culture Committee since 1995 and began working with the committee around the time it was created in 1975.
My heart is with the CSKT today. Tony Incashola Sr. was a great man with a great passion for preserving his Salish and Pend d’Orielle culture and language—leading the important work of the Selis Qlispe Culture Committee for decades. He will be missed.https://t.co/X4FpMYHy3f
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) June 8, 2022
Under his leadership, the culture committee gained regional, national and international recognition for its work in language, history and ethno geography. As director, Incashola also led consultations with various governmental entities and organizations. Members of the Selis-Qlispe Elders Cultural Advisory Council regarded Incashola as a chief.
A Vietnam War veteran and former tribal councilman, Incashola was also the first Native American to open a session of Congress with a prayer, according to a news release from the tribes.
Tom McDonald, chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, likened Incashola’s cultural knowledge to an “encyclopedia” and said his passing