Swinomish tribal leader Robert Joe, Sr., dies

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LA CONNER, Wash. (AP) — The Swinomish Tribe says former tribal Chairman Robert Joe, Sr., will be buried in the tribal cemetery Friday following his funeral in La Conner.

The 73-year-old, also known as Wa-Walton, died Wednesday morning in his sleep. He suffered complications from diabetes.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports Joe served on the Swinomish Indian Senate for 26 years from 1976 to 2000, with 18 of those years as chairman.

He was known as a spiritual man and an influential leader who advanced commercial development.

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Information from: Skagit Valley Herald, http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com