Native American Heritage Month Spotlight on Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe Chairman Tildon Smart

Tildon Smart is Chairman of Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of Nevada and Oregon. He has had a lot of different experiences from working as an emergency medical technician, wildland firefighter, farmer and rancher, to being an underground miner where he worked all over Nevada and in one mine in Alaska. Chairman Smart says he learned a lot of different leadership skills that he now uses as the tribal chairman. In high school Chairman Smart was part of the Future Farmers of America and learned a lot about farming, ranching, parliamentary procedure, and different types of animals.

Chairman Smart says his grandfather is his biggest inspiration and mentor. His grandfather is a retired schoolteacher who taught him that, “no matter what happens in life, I can overcome it, and that I can do whatever I put my mind to”. He is the greatest man I have ever known and most likely the only great man I will ever know. He is the greatest grandfather anyone could have.

As the Chairman, Smart believes that his Tribe is made up of proud people who have the power to make a difference for future generations to come. He would like his people to work together to reach common goals. He wants to remind his people to “never forget where you came from, do not forget your teachings, for these things will help you get through the toughest of times”.