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The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw Tribes are mourning the loss of Chief Donald “Doc” Slyter who walked on this past Saturday, November 4, 2023, after a long battle with cancer. A lifelong resident of the southern coast of Oregon, Chief Slyter served as tribal chairman for various terms. Chief Slyter was 72.

His passing was announced on the Tribes’ website in a statement by his two sons, Tyler and Scott.

“After a long battle, Chief Donald “Doc” Slyter has left this world to rejoin the Creator. He passed at home surrounded by his family.

“His lifelong perseverance, up until the very end, would certainly make our ancestral Warriors proud. Never one to back down or admit defeat, he fought for what he believed was right.”

Brad Kneaper, chair of the Tribal Council said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart and expressed sadness to learn of the passing of our beloved Chief Doc Slyter. Chief was a great man, a mentor and a friend to me and many others. I have known him for nearly 20 years and since I came to work for the Tribe back in 2004, he always had a word of wisdom for me. I have enjoyed working with him and will miss the talks and interaction as he was very instrumental in our decision-making process.

Chief Slyter’s lifelong dedication and  involvement with the Tribe gave him the  opportunity to witness the passage of federal legislation in 1984 that federally recognizes  the Tribes.

Chief Slyter served as the Chair of the Tribal Council beginning in 1984 until 1987. Later,  in April 2015, he was overwhelmingly elected to the Tribal Council. He was elected for a  second term in April 2019. In May 2019, he was once again elected as Chairman. He remained in office in that elected position until he decided to run and was elected in April  2020 to serve as Tribal Chief, a position in which he served until his death. 

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