Tribes to tell of gaps in health, education and justice on reservations

The panel discussion will provide input for an updated report on federal investments in the Native American tribes.

TAHOLAH — The chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hear from tribal representatives throughout the state during a listening session today.

Martin R. Castro, chairman of the commission, will be in Taholah for the panel discussion and listening session, said Jason Phelps, communications director for U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer.

The panel discussion will provide input for an updated report on federal investments in the Native American tribes.

The report, “Quiet Crisis,” found when it was originally released in 2003 that federal investments in Indian Country too often failed to provide quality health care, education and housing, among other things, said Phelps.

Kilmer — a Democrat from Gig Harbor who represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula — called on the commission to update the study this spring.

Quinault President Fawn Sharp will lead the discussion in Taholah. The day will begin at 9 a.m.

Ron Allen, chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe and co-chair of the Interior Budget Council, will open the panel discussion with an overview of “Quiet Crisis” gaps.

Panel members will include Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest committee chairs Patricia Whitefoot, Toppenish, education chair; Andy Joseph, Colville, health chair; Elena Bassett of Yakama and Brook Kristovich of Coville, housing co-chairs; and David Washines, Yakama, law and justice chair.

After a panel discussion, comments will be taken from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kilmer will make introductory and closing remarks, as will Castro.

Sharp will discuss the next steps before a tour of the reservation.

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