Where has the tribal conscience gone?
Letters to the Editor
Much has been written to (the Tribal Tribune) in editorials about theft, embezzlements, unfair hiring and cronyism. We can write about it until we turn purple as evidently some majorities of Colville Tribal Members don’t seem to concern themselves. Some merely respond, “who isn’t on the take?”
Well let’s turn to whether or not we even have a conscience left for our own guidance.
Taking child sexual assaults as an example, when did we give up on that as a tragedy to that child? When did we give up providing services to that child who would and will, one day, grow up and be an adult in the communities? Where is the wellness required in an adult who was a small and utterly innocent child, sometimes even an infant, at the time of the sexual assault?
Where did that conscience go? Did it hide in addiction, perhaps even the addiction of being a predator? Did the conscience hide in a collective of addicts as predators? It is a fair question because that might partly explain why it can, well, hide in plain sight. Perhaps it hides in plain sight because “adult” “caretakers” were too ashamed (we can only hope “ashamed”) of the fact that directly due to their selfish lack of conscience the predator was allowed to slink off to offend again and again while the victim is not delivered to wellness; while the victim has little hope of being whole again.
Whether it is the lack of conscience about thefts of material things like tribal funds and trust property of vulnerable tribal members or the innocence stolen from an infant or child, there are varied responses. I’ve watched elected tribal officials and tribal executives just laugh when serial thieves’ names, in our Tribes, are brought up for discussion. There’s no interest in investigation or prosecution. Adding insult to injury, the investigator(s) or whistleblowers end up being persecuted for an appearance of conscience.
Regarding conscience about child sexual assaults, we, at least, reject laughter as a response. But we witness, in plain sight, the responses of silence (thus acceptance) of the collective predators and those elected tribal officials and tribal executives.
It is at this level of higher lawful duty and ethical responsibility as a tribal executive that predatory pathology is the most shocking. We now know about predatory pathology in the leaders of the Catholic Church, who repeatedly preyed upon both children and adult parishioners: They had secured the highest levels of trust, whether or not based on fear, by our community members.
This predatory pathology hidden in plain sight, in executive hands, has been long overdue for full disclosure and prosecution; no limitations, even back to the 1980s and further.
[Editor’s note: The writer wished it known that this letter was originally submitted to the Tribal Tribune in August, but has not been published.]