NPTEC Member Biographies:

Samuel N. Penney

Sam Penney is currently a Senior Strategist/Northwest Team Leader for Blue Stone Strategy Group. Blue Stone Strategy Group is a national Native-owned advisory group committed to assisting tribes in strengthening sovereignty, fostering self-determination and self-sufficiency by providing advisory support to ensure profitable businesses, productive governmental systems and effective leadership. Sam has been directly involved in tribal government workshops, training and strategic planning for tribal governments and enterprises. For more information about Blue Stone Strategy group go to

Sam is former chairman and member of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee (NPTEC). He was first elected to NPTEC in 1989 and served through May 2010. Sam served thirteen years as Chairman of NPTEC and four years as Vice-Chairman and held numerous assignments during his years on NPTEC. He has extensive knowledge and experience about the federal legislative process. Penney has provided testimony before U.S. Congress and worked with members of Congress in advocating on behalf of the Nez Perce Tribe regarding federal legislation and the protection of Nez Perce treaty reserved rights. Sam also has knowledge on how the judicial branch (federal courts) and executive branch (President and Administration) of the federal government operates.

Sam has worked on issues at the state level to promote and protect the interests of the Nez Perce Tribe. Some of the issues are: helped negotiate the 1995 Class III Gaming Compact, removal of the Idaho Lottery from the Nez Perce Reservation in 1994 because the lack of a compact between the state and tribe for the state to operate the lottery within the reservation, helped negotiate fuels tax agreement, worked on preservation of tribal tobacco sales/tax exemptions, worked on statewide “Indian Gaming and Self-Reliance Act” initiative in November 2002 to define and secure tribal gaming in Idaho, helped negotiate 2008 Lottery Compact for the return of the Idaho Lottery to the Nez Perce Reservation.

In 1999 the Idaho Statesman newspaper featured Sam in an article entitled “Idahoans Changing Idaho – 10 Who Make A Difference”. The Idaho Statesman took a look at people who are working to change Idaho today, searching for those who reflect the best of who we are and what we believe. Sam was selected because he sought to protect the rights of the state’s Indian residents and the areas natural resources.

On May 16, 2003, Sam received the President’s Medallion from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. He was selected for his dedication to promoting educational opportunities for Native American youth and the understanding the importance of higher education for everyone, both Indian and non-Indian. Also on May 17, 2003, the University of Idaho conferred upon him the honorary doctorate degree of Doctor of Administrative Science. Sam has served on the Native American Advisory Boards to the Presidents of Lewis-Clark State College, University of Idaho and Washington State University. He has also served on the Gonzaga Law School Native American Advisory Board.

If elected to NPTEC I will advocate and support: accountability and professionalism of myself and NPTEC, support department and program reviews for efficiency and effectiveness, advocate the highest levels of education and health care for the Nimiipuu, support tribal preference in hiring and small business development for entrepreneurs, will advocate for the health and welfare of our elders, and protect the Nez Perce Tribe’s treaty reserved rights and tribal sovereignty.

Sam is s 57 years old and married to his wife Loretta for 32 years this June. Sam and Loretta have three children, Ira, James and Samantha. Parents are Josephine (Joann) A. Samuels and Ira D. Penney. Grandparents are Joe and Pauline (Corbett) Samuels and David and Mary (Miller) Penney.


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Nez Perce Tribe 2006. All rights reserved.