Washoe Tribe looks forward

Hello, my name is Waldo W. Walker, newly elected chairman of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, and I wish to share my thoughts with you. I would like to give thanks to all Washoe Tribal members for having faith in me, and sharing my desire to provide a brighter future for our tribe.

The time has come for us to take our rightful place among our nation's fellow governing bodies. For if no man is an island, then neither is a nation, and therefore we must be full participants in society at large. I look forward to creating and promoting a brighter future for the Washoe Tribe, protecting our rich cultural heritage, lands, and interests, along with building responsible economic growth, so that we may become a thriving entity, able to participate economically in our broader society. It is not enough anymore that we, as a unified tribal body, shall settle for merely surviving.

We dream of a better future for our children, as well as the generations to come. In order to do this we must set out to define our circumstances, rather than allowing ourselves to be in a constant state of reaction. President Nixon, in his 1970 inaugural address, recognized tribes as sovereign entities, comparable to states, and so we shall rise to the occasion in developing positive relationships with our fellow governing bodies, including other tribal bodies, cities, counties, our great state of Nevada, on up to Washington, D.C. I look forward to participating in building government-to-government relationships, recognizing that we can only succeed as a nation when we stand in support of one another, while allowing for the differences that make us unique.

As our nation's great President Abraham Lincoln once said, "Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors."

Carson Valley possesses some of the greatest scenery, and some of the finest citizenry. I have been across the globe, and can attest that our beloved home is one of the finest places to live, with some of the finest people. I would like to extend my warmest regards to everyone, and say that I look forward to the Washoe Tribe's participation in ensuring that Carson Valley maintains such a great and revered reputation.

We find ourselves upon the threshold of change, presenting endless possibilities and exciting times. The Washoe people are up to the challenges that the 21st century brings to us, realizing that it is only through unity that we may achieve greatness. United, we will inspire.

n Waldo Walker was sworn in as Washoe Tribal Chairman on Dec. 1.


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