I've been able to investigate the events that's surrounding the WMAT -
accounts of racism and am in a better position to direct you to the areas
that you want to support.. Some of you may have read the Arizona Republic
coverage on the fire and the reports on incidents of racism. There wasn't
anything specific stated, just unsettling and uneasiness of relationships
between Native and Non-Native people. I have spoken with people who have
see derogatory signs displayed on vehicles. Overall people are trying to
focus on their losses - homes and businesses - the tribe is challenged
with the future of economic development, and the impact it will have on
the immediate needs of the Apache people. Unfortunately, there are those
who respond with anger and point fingers and spread racism. We have to
move past the ignorance and be a part of a healthier future.
I have been in contact with the Local Tribal Emergency Response Committee
who shared that for the past couple days there are meetings that are being
held by WMAT Leadership, City Commerce Organizations, City Officials to
try and develop economic plans to rebuild and ways to ease racial
tension. The local towns surrounding the reservation rely a lot on the
Hon-dah Casino patrons to bring them business as well.
Here at the contact informations that will direct you on how to help and
Media Contact: The White Mountain Press Liason is Chadeen Palmer - phone
number is 928-338-4346 - All media related needs will go through her
FundRaiser Contact: Mark Neel is in charge of developing fundraising in
the way of benefit concerts and events that will benefit WMAT and also
help with the local financial needs of the residents and towns. His
e-mail is: markneel@WMAT.nsn.us -
his phone number is 1-800-929-8744 ext. 7568. They're looking for
entertainers, celebrities, etc. that will lend a hand to raise funds.
Donations & Financial Needs of Tribe - Roger Leslie, General Manager -
Hondah Casino - 1-800-929-8744 ext. 7550 / e-mail: RLeslie@hon-dah.com -
Roger is aware of the financial status of the tribe and it's members and
is willing to give you specifics
Tribal Chairman's Chief of Staff - Reno Johnson is head of the Local
Emergency Response Committee - his office number is (928) 338-4346 ext.
381 and his cell phone number is 928-521-3644. He is also the liason
between the tribe and the local communities.
Legal Help for Suspect - Charlene is working with the family to get good
legal representation - you can e-mail her at MatoLutaWia@yahoo.com.
Since I served initially as a liason to help them get the information out,
from now on please direct all your support requests to one of the above.
It's best that you hear directly from the tribal members themselves. I
hope you will find a way to lend your services and expertise to the WMAT.
I've made my committment to them I will be heading home to my tribe in
South Dakota for Sundance and healing ceremonies from July 8th to July
20th. I will keep everyone in my prayers.