Calica hired as Northern Idaho BIA superintendent
- Troy Foster
- Madras Pioneer - News
>The man who dedicated more than 25 years of civic service to Warm Springs is leaving the reservation
Jody Calica, the Warm Springs man who dedicated more than 25 years of civic service to the Confederated Tribes, has been hired as superintendent for the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Northern Idaho Agency.
Calica, 54, assumed his new duties last Monday after resigning from his post as general manager of the Confederated Tribes Natural Resources Department -- a position he held for eight years during two separate stints. He is being succeeded by Bobby Brunoe.
Calica has moved to Lapwai, Idaho, where he works for the federal government with the Nez Perce, Kootenai and Couer D'Alene tribes.
"I'm going to have to change my paradigm from working for tribes to working more as a spokesman and advocate for them," Calica said. "It's a change in careers and another adventure."
Calica's departure is a bittersweet one after several years working in several capacities for the Tribes and other regional committees.
In 1989, he became the general manager of the Natural Resources Department and helped spearhead a crucial water rights settlement plus the development of a comprehensive natural resource management plan to preserve the Tribes' forest holdings.
In 1997, he became the Confederated Tribes Chief Operations Officer and served a three-year term before returning to his former position with the natural resources department after the 2001 election.
Calica has also served as the Confederated Tribes Education Director and Assistant Community Services Manager plus three terms as treasurer for the Intertribal Timber Council -- a national organization of tribes in the timber industry.
Statewide, he has served on the state's Parks & Recreation Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission plus on the board of directors for the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon Water Trust and an advisory group for Oregon State University's Cascades Campus in Bend.
Calica said he felt he had exhausted all his career opportunities in Warm Springs.
"There's always a little apprehension about moving from a place where you invested your heart and soul especially when you look around and see what you've contributed to," Calica said.
He was born and raised in Warm Springs. After getting a degree in education from Oregon State University and a teaching certificate, he spent a portion of his professional career as a high school counselor in Madras.
"I think I've accomplished a fair amount here," Calica said. "I was fortunate to be able to mentor some tribal members to get professional degrees and program experience."
His wife, Marie, is staying behind for now retaining her job with the Tribes. She may join Calica in Idaho in the future, but the couple, which has five grown children, say they are putting their destiny in greater hands.
"We make some of these moves with a whole lot of faith and we have confidence in facing the unknown," Calica said. "We'll just place our destinies in a power greater than us and see what happens."