Tribe must return to the Washo way |

Tribe must return to the Washo way

by Art George

What would I do as Washoe tribal chairman?

Let me give an example. When I asked Vice Chairman Darrell Kizer what sacred geometry was, he said to me “That’s where we’re different. Knowing Washo and not knowing Washo.”

And that’s what qualifies me — knowing our Washo knowledge.

When I met with the vice chair he said that 90 percent of the council members had no clue what I said about the sacred estates document, or the DRIP document, or nonproxies at the last meeting in Woodfords, and that I needed to put it in laymen’s terms.

This why I need to be the chairman. For you, for the people, for the return of natural leadership, bringing Washo traditional values into our organization.

Make me the chairman, and I will educate each one of you on the settled laws of the Washo people. We will learn together the commercial and corporate laws that affect us together, so we may all be knowledgeable.

There are parts of the criminal activity, ignorance, and negligence. These are charges of crimes that have already been committed, and are on record, which all this council is being incriminated, or being pointed at, in newspaper, by the last tribal chairperson’s attorney.

Second is the clarification of where we stand, financially and legally. As a people and in business, I will provide the answers, clarification, in areas of Washo ranches, clinic, housing, social services, environmental department, allotments, burial grounds, court and law enforcement, to name a few.

And a big part of this order is our culture and beliefs, family ways of Washo, the return of an organization that existed before dahbohohs came to our land, our homeland. This was natural leadership, dahtohmusheh, like the elders before us, had been.

What you, the council admits, is that you have no knowledge of, and are in need of education about the invasive species of plants and animals, like those Asian clams now surfacing on Tahoe shores.

The constitution the Washo adopted in 1934 needs to be designed to meet the values and principles of that Washo system, which was given to the Washo people to do just that. Self-determination, self-governance, and these words are the traditional Washo ways, so why isn’t it working for us? Why do we have homeless and hungry?

We have to start with a think tank using Washo brain power to make constitutional changes, which in all aspects of the Washo world are customs, traditions, beliefs. It makes sense because that has checks and balances of that fail safe system that we need to get back to, unlike this constitution that currently dictates a design to our failing system.

Washo custom is to stop and listen to those who are there to help strengthen, include insight to be more prepared for a better outcome, for tribe.

The job of a good leader is to surround himself with competent individuals, people who can provide the professional skills, a good education to carry out the daily responsibilities. I look around, and see some very competent individuals who would make good employees of the tribal organization. I would give full support to give those an opportunity to show what can be offered, just as I’m asking you to give me the chance to show you all that I can do this job. That makes for good service and production in those fields of expertise of the Washo people’s business cooperation, known as the Washo Tribe of Nevada and California.

You may not like me, or are jealous in some shape or form. That keeps you, and the Washo people from going forward. The old hatefulness that now has divided us since 1859. Grudges that were before our time must end sometime. I say tonight’s the night it gets done.

As your next chairman, I will provide the strength in leadership that this council needs, requires to be protected and provided for, and securing the people’s business so that it protects and provides for them.

All of you stated you couldn’t fill the shoes of the leaders before you. Well if you asked me if I could do the chairmanship job, I would say I was born to do this job. Yes I could, and would do that job proudly, with all the powers of Washo way. I would do it for the return of the Washo. I would be there for what I’ve been told, taught, instructed to do, through oral tradition. Like the old people told me as I was growing up, “when you get there, if our offspring make it, could you tell them what we would’ve wanted them to know.”

I replied always, “Yes I would,” and here we are 43 years later, and I’m asking you to let me show you what the old people wanted you to know. Pick me to be Washo tribe chairman. You’ll not regret it.

Art George prepared this statement for his candidacy for Washoe Tribal chairman.