Tribal Government & News

Letters to the Editor -- Jan. 15, 2021

01.14.2021 Dean Rhodes Letters

Dear Smoke Signals:

Deb Haaland is a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe and one of two Native American women elected to Congress. If things go well, she might be the first Native American to lead a Cabinet-level agency.

According to a New York Times article, she would oversee a sprawling department responsible for some 500 million acres of public lands, including national parks, oil and gas drilling sites, and endangered species habitat.

Nominated by Joe Biden, she still has to face confirmation by the Senate. But what an honor and what a long time coming!

Finally, some good news from 2020.

Judith Pettibone

Roll No. 717


Dear Smoke Signals:

My name is Samantha Dala. I have a problem. I moved out of my house so that Housing could do their job and fix the ceiling in the bathroom and in the bedroom. I was told by other people, “If you move everything out, then Housing will get you back in sooner than late winter.”

Look, I am an Elder well over 70 years and I am on the street and nobody cares. Well, I think that if this is the way you all treat your Elders. Then you need a little piece of wisdom. You should remember when your parents told you growing up to respect your Elders. There is no respect for us anymore and that is a sad thing.

I made things for the Elders. I made blankets, scarves and even Christmas ornaments for the tree. I even played secret Santa for some of our Elders. But look at us now. Some of us have no way of getting around because the younger people just don’t care. We are nothing to this place anymore. Why mistreat Elders? We are good people, but I have a surprise for the Tribe. I have a rent bill for the Tribe to pay back to me. So far it is $1,500. If I had my own place, I would not have to do this.

Elders desire a lot in life, and I mean not being homeless. The Tribe put me up at the hotel for 12 days. I have paid for all the other days. My cost so far is $1,600 and I just don’t have this kind of money. I am without my apartment because I made one mistake in my life. So sue me.

Housing is the one that tells me no, I can’t have my apartment back. The money is not coming out of your pocket. And my unit is still empty after Monday evening. I am on the street again.

We Elders are so well taken care of. Look at me (no car, no home and no respect).

Samantha Dala

Roll No. 382