Inside the secret society of the Cowlitz People (AKA) Tribal Council.
Just about every council meeting taking place at St. Marry's is not revealed to General Council. No one seems to know what is discussed at these meeting because those on tribal council are sworn to secrecy and not allowed to discuss anything with anyone who wants answers.
We have 21 sets on tribal council and those sets are held by three families, all of which do not have 1/16 Cowlitz Blood or none at all since council, during a general council meeting with those whom vote for what ever council puts forth in passing because the other members were unable to attend that meeting.
One council member also works for the State of Washington, Department of Social and Heath Services, who at certain times has used her position within the Department where she works to cause problems for members who get on the wrong side of the corn farmer in Toledo, Washington. She will at her will, act on behalf of this farmer as a means to get back at the tribal member for getting in the way of this corn farmer.
Those in the tribe that might be disabled can find it hard when dealing with such matters as tribal land in connection with the corn farmer. One can find themselves without transportation for even speaking up about this corn farmer. Rides to doctors are no longer available, no more going to St. Marry's for meals, or even go shopping to buy food or other needs. Or even find themselves walking home only to end up calling 911 and requesting an ambulance because your hips gave out and no one ever looked for them knowing full well that the tribal member is disabled. This is the true side of those who work for the tribe be it another tribal member or non-indian (no Cowlitz Blood and of European dissent) working for tribe.
Tribal Council's position on the Sweat Lodge is that it is "evil" and should not be practiced (this was stated by Vice-chairman of the tribe). Traditionally, the Sweat Lodge is used to get in touch with ones Ancestors and to bond with Earth Mother, Our Mother. Those who partake in Sweat Lodge know what I mean. The European took the Sweat Lodge and used it to sweat but not in the traditional ways of Indian Country.
Of those working at St. Marry's, there are three non-indians there. And they put forth their religious beliefs when working with and for tribal members. Meaning they personally think our Indian ways are heathen, just as the Europeans did when they arrived on Turtle Inland a few centuries ago. We had are own religion, but the Europeans thought our religion was wrong and we were, in thier minds heathens, devil worshipers, just because we weren't Christians like them. And they wanted the land we lived on since the beginning of time. Indian Peoples through out Turtle Inland were killed in the name of their god simply because we practiced our beliefs, believing in the Great Greater who entrusted our People in the preservation on Earth Mother and they wanted the land to divide up for themselves.
We have another council member who gets the only benefit from the other tribal property. He gets to mow the field for his dairy farm and he does not give any money to the general fund, for operating the tribe's business. He usually harvests at least 80 to 90 rolls of hey and the only explanation from the tribal chairman is the hey is only worth $100.00. Something else about this property, is how it is listed with Lewis County, as being forest land but there are no trees to harvest, only hey. This land was given to the tribe by Tacoma Power company for not removing our Ancestors before flooding an area a long the Cowlitz River. This property has not been placed in trust for some un-known reason.
The Chairman struck a deal with his son to barrow money for tribal business. It seems as though these loans will become due in 2006 and the pay off will be $6,000,000.00. This in it's self gives raze to who will own the tribe if the loans go into default because the tribe will not be able to for fill their obligation. This was never put before general Council concerning the loans to run tribal matters. They did this behind closed doors and never let it be known until someone found out about it, then did tribal council admit to taking out loans from the Chairman's son who formed another corporation just for lending purposes to try an hide their dealings from General Council. One has to consider just how wealthy the Chairman and son really is, I heard it said once that they are worth $35,000,000.00 all from their timber business. I'd bet they got a nice taz refund from good ol' george and co.