Rumsey Chair: Tribe focuses on cultural rebirth

"I write concerning the article published in The Sacramento Bee about my tribe, the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians. Unfortunately, The Bee's relentless focus on tribal finances and personal problems of some members created an impression far different than reality. The Bee truly missed the point in telling the story of a once downtrodden people who, through an incredible reversal of fortune, are changing their lives for the better.

The reporter's recounting of the wealth of the tribe and its members was invasive and pointless, and it did nothing to illustrate what we have been able to accomplish in a very short period of time. Our heritage is being reborn; our music and art are being revived; our Patwin language is being taught. We have instilled a sense of pride among tribal members through our difficult history and long journey together.

Most of the members of our tribe who have suffered from drug or alcohol addiction have taken control of their lives. That, however, is hardly the impression left by the article, which quoted members about demons they have long since conquered. What the article failed to do was to highlight the tremendous strides of the tribe and its individual members, many of whom own businesses, attend school, or are otherwise exploring avenues to reviving the tribe's culture through film, music and art. "

Get the Story:
Marshall McKay: Tribe's leader says successes more important than wealth (The Sacramento Bee 10/12)

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Rumsey chairman battles 'poverty of the soul' (10/6)