Appendix A – Cultural Leave Policy Séliš-Ql̓ispé

Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee

81 Blind Barnaby Street
P.O. Box 550
St. Ignatius, MT  59865
PHONE: (406) 745-4572
FAX: 745-4573

Atwen Incashola, Director

Shirley Trahan, Salish Language Specialist

Chaney Bell, Language Coordinator

Sadie Peone, Historical Collections Manager

Chauncey Beaverhead, Data Entry Technician

Gloria Whitworth, Office Manager

Richard Alexander, Maintenance Technician

Thompson Smith, History & Geography Projects Charlie Quequesah, Translator

FROM: Tony Incashola


RE:                   Revised Cultural Leave Policy

There have been some more questions and concerns regarding the Séliš-Ql̓ispé cultural leave policy. We all need to use cultural leave with care and respect so that we can maintain and continue this benefit to our cultural activities.

The Elders Council has advised us that Séliš-Ql̓ispé cultural leave should be granted for Séliš-Ql̓ispé traditional cultural and spiritual activities that are often at unscheduled times. There are other activities, which, while of benefit to the Tribes as a whole, are more of a personal commitment and should be undertaken on personal time.

This clarification of Séliš-Ql̓ispé cultural leave should help avoid having to cancel a policy that helps us maintain our cultures, the lifeblood of the Tribes.


  1. Séliš-Ql̓ispé traditional all-night wakes and funerals. These may be either on or off the Reservation. However, cultural leave will be granted only for one or more of the following reasons, and only for actual hours spent at the wake or funeral:
    • You have family ties;
    • You have remained through the night;
    • You have served as a prayer leader during work hours at the wake or funeral;
    • You have served as a pallbearer;
    • You have served as a cook or assisted with the cooking in the kitchen during the wake. (Head cooks will be asked to be responsible of keeping track of all time during work hours).
    • Hunting for wakes only if requested by the family of the deceased.
  2. Jump Dance.
  3. Medicine Dance.
  4. Bi-annual trips to Medicine Tree.
  5. Bitterroot Dig and Feast.
  6. SQCC Language/Culture Camp.
  7. Sweats during the month of January Medicine Dances.
  8. Memorial Feast and Dinners
  9. Plant gatherings (medicinal and food) in group events pre-approved by the
    Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee or events with the SQCC that benefit the Tribes as a whole.

CULTURAL LEAVE will NOT be given for personal activities such as:

  1. Sun Dances and other events or activities from other tribes and cultures.
  2. Powwows.
  3. Fasting.
  4. Personal Sweats.
  5. Funerals (If just attending) *
  6. Any events or activities that do not benefit the Tribes as a whole.

*The Elders feel that going to funerals is a personal choice; this should come from your heart to want to be there.

Please notify your employees of this revised policy and let them know that we encourage employees to notify their immediate supervisors prior to taking Cultural Leave and to make necessary arrangements during his/her absence. The Séliš-Ql̓ispé Culture Committee will not provide verification of participation in activities until after the event.

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