Appreciating the stories that I’m hearing now with Quinault Indian Nation. There are 16 people here gathered at the Quinault School, home of the Chitwhins. My friends Sono, Teresa, and John are hosting a Domain Leadership meeting. People are now meeting in specific domains to support an overall strategic plan: Community, Wellness, Prosperity, and Learning. Other domain groups will convene later: Land, Governance, and the Queets Community Group. The focus is on preferred futures, indicators of wellness, and essential starting goals.
Great to hear the sparking ideas, particularly as I listen to the Learning Domain. One person is sharing some traits of learning that characterize the Quinault people. “We learn by doing. If you want to learn to make a basket, do it with me. We’ll make mistakes and then we’ll laugh together and figure it out.”
Another story was about being resourceful. “We used to do what we needed to. My husband came home one day with a paycheck of $99. It was not enough to pay our bills. We had someone help with our kids. We went clam digging. With what we got from the clams, we were able to pay our bills. Our schools are important. But it was wrong to take our skills away from us. We need to learn again to dig for clams, hunt, and be in our land.”
Happy to witness some of this work, the claim of sovereignty, and it’s expression in this culture.