James Steele, Jr holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Montana. He served on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council from 2004 to 2012 and again in 2017. In January of 2006, he was elected Tribal Council Chairman and was re-elected in 2007 and he served a total of 9 years on the tribal council representing the Arlee and St Ignatius districts. He has served on many nonprofit boards, state, and tribal policy boards. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Montana Budget Policy Center Board and is a board member of Energy Keepers Inc. He is an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation. He lives on his family’s ranch in St. Ignatius, Montana.