Council, Youth Meet Cantwell, Jones

By:  Staff Writer
Source: The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe

Tribal Council Vice Chair Liz Mueller and Treasurer Theresa R. Lehman met with Senator Maria Cantwell (WA-D), chairperson of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on August 18th at the Red Lion Inn in Port Angeles. Among other topics, they talked about the Every Child Succeeds Act and the Native American Children Safety Act that Cantwell helped pass into law.

“Senator Cantwell has been a strong supporter of Tribes and continues to work for our benefit. I invited Teen Program Coordinator Carmen Maxwell and two of our Tribal teens - Victoria Hall and Dylan MacGregor - to the luncheon. During my presentation I asked Victoria to stand with me and talk about her experience in the Tribe’s Children's and Youth programs.”

“My experience speaking to her was very spontaneous,” Hall said, adding that five minutes before she spoke, Teen Program Coordinator Carmen Maxwell tapped her on the shoulder to tell her that Mueller wanted her to speak. “A few minutes later, Liz and I went up to the podium and she spoke about the Jamestown educational programs. Then, she addressed me and asked me to speak about my experiences with the Tribe. It was very scary to speak in front of Maria Cantwell and the other Tribal leaders, but Maria's reassuring smile made it easier. The Tribe has always been there for me and has helped me toward the goals I have set for myself. It has always been a home away from home. I know that the Tribal leaders really value education and Maria Cantwell spoke about making education for Tribal peoples even better. I can't wait to see what she has in store.”

The group also met with Erin Jones, who is running for the position of Washington State’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

MacGregor said that it was like nothing else he had ever experienced, especially when Senator Cantwell spoke to him. But he was most impressed by Erin Jones, the “up and coming candidate. She is the first African-American woman to run for the office. She was adopted at birth and lived with a Native American family in Minnesota. She has worked in her career to improve education for Native Americans and minorities, and to bring back Native culture.”