Tribal Government & News
Letters to the Editor -- Oct. 15, 2012
Dear Tribal membership:
My wife and I were extremely disappointed when we read in the Oct. 1 issue of Smoke Signals that our Tribe is actually coming to the aid of "busting" marijuana grows. For shame! Were we as a membership asked before the council made the decision to lend our resources to such a ridiculous operation?
I know our membership falls short of participation (shame on them, too) when the ballots are mailed out, but I vote! I suppose this is just one of the occurrences in which we're not asked before dumb decisions are enacted by the council.
Marijuana prohibition is something that actually holds us back as a Tribe and society. When Measure 80 (the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act) passes in November, I would actually urge the council to invest some of these lands we're acquiring into major hemp production areas, which would benefit us all and generate some revenue (but don't give it all away this time; distribute it among our people).
I'd like to see this Tribe blazing the trail for new ideas and innovations, sustainable ones. Please do your research and be beholden to the enormous benefits of hemp and encourage your Tribe to seize its opportunities. Furthermore, one in four Oregonians smokes marijuana on a daily basis, so get used to it. We live in peace, conduct ourselves responsibly and have aspirations and goals. We are perfectly healthy and normal (more than likely a little happier, too). Vote yes on Measure 80! You don't have to inhale; you just have to have common sense.
On another note, if you're going to keep giving away so much of our money with our per capita continuing to dissipate (we lost $902,699 on Sept. 12, 2012, alone), can you just stop publishing it in Smoke Signals?
We as a membership obviously have no resonation with you when we say that we need and deserve more money, what is rightfully ours. So with that being said, I'm sick of hearing about it. It is sickening and we as a membership deserve answers.
I am all for contributing to less fortunate groups, but this is out of control. Take this hemp cultivation suggestion and create some per capita dollars. Something has got to be done about per capita. Let me say it again, something has got to be done about per capita.
Dear Tribal members:
I would like to bring to your attention the injustice in our history that needs to be known to all Americans. The truth about Christopher Columbus is something we, as Indian people, should never forget.
Can we forget Christopher Columbus' enslavement of native people on his first journey to America? In the log books from his ships the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, it speaks of how he and his men were treated with a warm and generous welcome. It is documented.
On that voyage, he also landed on the island of Hispaniola, now known as Haiti. He and his men killed and enslaved those friendly islanders. All for his quest for gold.
I can't forget about his wrongdoing anymore than I can forget about how the U.S. Calvary massacred our ancestors, Elders, women and children. All backed by the U.S. government.
Most of us Native Americans want to keep what we have and provide our children accurate historical accounts of our families, Tribes, clans and nations. It is a great insult when the U.S. government recognizes Columbus Day as a federal holiday. It hurts me deeply. We can't change history, but we can tell the truth.
For me, personally, as an Elder, I feel it is my responsibility to educate my children and other young Natives about our history. I don't want to dwell on the negative, but building our future from the truth. We can't turn back the calendar, but there are many things we have to be proud of. Through all the adversity, we have survived.
Congress and the president at the time signed and passed House Joint Resolution 62 designating the day after Thanksgiving as national Native American Heritage Day. This is a day to celebrate the sacrifices of our ancestors, along with Native peoples' contributions beginning with our Native veterans who served in the U.S. armed forces.
I encourage all American citizens to celebrate Native American Heritage Day on the Friday following Thanksgiving. This would help the healing and the balancing of American history.