Tribal critic


Last summer, the Quinault Indian Nation held the greatest gathering of American Indians in our history. We fed thousands and thousands of people who came for the canoe gathering. It was the most awesome week of the summer. It was unbelievable.

But believe this: We, the lowly tribal members are again suffering for the actions of those we trusted and elected to lead us.

I am an elder in this tribe. We need services now. They get federal funds to provide services to our tribal members, then divert them for their own agendas instead of what they were initially appropriated for and our people are suffering from lack of services.

When we try to get authorities to investigate, they use tribal sovereignty as a defense mechanism to cloak their activities.

It’s Selective Sovereignty, a race card for the Tribe. They use the federal government for funding. They take full advantage of the federal retirement system for tribal employees; however, they don’t have a Tribal Retirement System in place for those that opt out of the federal retirement system. So, the tribal employees that dedicated lifetimes of loyal service to the tribe have nothing and nothing coming.

I googled clam prices and the public market in Seattle has clams at $18.99 a pound. Our Quinault razor clam diggers get $2 a pound from our fish house & they are happy they are finally getting that much.

We didn’t elect these people just to nurse off the federal teat and to rob our own people.

We built our casino because of the high unemployment on the reservation. That revenue is generated for our people but we have never gotten a dime. Each one of those slot machines should have a tribal member’s name & number, so we get something from our own casino.

I am only trying to get someone to actually pay attention. Our recall meeting was comedy of errors. They made one business committee member the scapegoat and allowed the others to carry on as usual.

Jean Ramos

Queets

 

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