Tough times in Queets

Funny, there are now two more letters describing exactly what I am talking about in your newspaper, but nobody listens to me.

Lake Quinault was closed because of “unsportsmanlike behavior.”

Taholah’s Chitwins don’t play well with others. The others took the ball and left them all alone. The parents sued. The judge threw it out of court. They closed the lake.

The Quinault Business Committee thinks they are all contingency lawyers. They get the grants and casino and stuff for the tribal members, but they make sure they get theirs first and off the top. They make sure there is enough for their positions and added benefits before they leave whatever is left for everyone else to fight over.

I live in the tiny village of Queets where there is extremely high unemployment. It’s not because we are lazy Indians, it’s because we were placed in an area so remote and isolated, there are no jobs. The casino was to provide economic relief for the whole tribe. It was supposed to make things a little more comfortable for us.

But our Business Committee thinks we shouldn’t receive per capita payments from our casino. We have tribal members, elders and kids, who are basically abandoned without any hope for a better future like we were promised when they wanted us to build the casino.

I’d like to invite someone there to actually visit the real Quinaults, not just those who put on airs of their prosperity, throwing million dollar parties, where certain volunteers were paid $25 an hour. Come see how we live and how we are treated for yourself.

You’d be amazed. In the greatest country in the world, the country that took the land and the people, we are a natural, national treasure, yet, we struggle.

We should be treasured.

Jean Ramos