Native grandmothers come through Port Angeles en route to Portland

PORT ANGELES — The grandmothers want their grandchildren to know when they see injustice, when someone tries to keep them quiet, they must speak out.

And if that doesn’t work, walk out.

Which is what the three grandmothers, Makah tribal members from Neah Bay, did at 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Dotti Chamblin, Gail Adams and Rhonda Markishtum, whose ages total 181 years, began a 330-mile trek to Portland, Ore., with a walk into the early morning fog over the Makah Reservation.

They arrived in Port Angeles shortly before noon Wednesday and went to U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks’ office at 322 E. Fifth St. to deliver a letter.

Dicks, the Democrat from Belfair who represents the 6th Congressional District, sits on the Appropriation subcommittee for the Department of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The grandmothers’ letter — four pages, single-spaced and containing their phone numbers — calls for better health care for Native Americans and better care for the land and waters that sustain them.

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