Letters to the Editor

Disagree with Henden’s sovereignty comments

It is rather embarrassing to find that a member of our School Board is so uneducated about, and unaware of, the history of the area he is supposed to be representing (“Henden disputes sovereignty,” page A1, Dec. 7 Herald).

The sovereignty of the Native American Tribes is what it is — a fact, not open for discussion or question. For Mr. Henden to say he cannot sign an agreement that refers to the Suquamish Tribe as a sovereign nation because he doesn’t know that to be true is kind of like saying he won’t sign an agreement with the state of California because he personally doesn’t believe it to be true that California is a state.

The Suquamish Tribe being a sovereign nation is a fact that just is — that’s what facts are.

The Suquamish Tribe contributes immensely to this region, and has always been very active in support of the schools. As a sovereign nation, they do not have to do that. They are great neighbors and it is a privilege to live here and learn more about their culture. Mr. Henden would do well to learn a little more about them himself. He could begin with visiting their new museum and, in doing so, may come across the facts of how they came to be a sovereign nation.

Bobbie Hawkes

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The absurdity of Scott Henden’s take on tribal sovereignty should be seen for exactly the kind of political diatribe it is.

It’s hard work for everyone involved, making a school district run. It’s even harder when basic language and reasoning (skills we hope all of our kids learn at school) are ignored by board members. The vast majority does understand the fact you have chosen to politicize.

The sham of moral indignation or deep concern over the words “sovereign nation” is preposterous. You are wasting precious resources and time. So, I would appreciate it, Scott, if you would leave your political agenda home, do the job you were elected to do, or seriously consider resigning, so someone who supports public education with the broadest views for the good of all present and future students can take your place and move eduction forward not backward.

Marsh Menne

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As I opened the Dec. 7 Herald, I was appalled to read that we here in the North Kitsap School District have a school board member that displays such ignorance. To think that he serves in a position of influence over the education of our children. The superintendent should have asked him if he is also a charter member of the Flat Earth Society!

Come on, North Kitsap people. Can’t we do better in our elected officials?

Charles Bickel

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It has come to my attention that Scott Henden is having a tough time accepting the fact that the Suquamish Tribe is a sovereign nation.

I got out my Random House dictionary and looked up “sovereign.” Notation number four says, “having independent power or authority.” Then I looked up “nation.” Notation number two says, “a member tribe of an American Indian confederation.”

Chairman Forsman of the Suquamish Tribe was recently in Washington, D.C. to attend a meeting of 566 tribes, all recognized by the U.S. federal government.

Also, Mr. Henden says that he believes that Norway is a sovereign nation. Well, in Norway, if you want to be a member of the government, being a member of the Lutheran Church is a prerequisite. If one’s Lutheran faith defines one’s life as ruled by God, then the sovereign definition of independent doesn’t apply. Power and authority comes through God, if one embraces the Lutheran faith as a prerequisite for being in the government in Norway.

My Random House dictionary defines “state” as a nation or its government. Therefore, I believe that Norway should more accurately be described as a religious state, rather than a sovereign nation.

When Gen. George Washington backed up the Declaration of Independence and defeated the British on the battlefield, the heavy yoke of excessive taxation and government-controlled religion was broken. Independent power and authority were thus vested in the people through the U.S. Constitution, making these United States of America a sovereign nation.

Perhaps this will help Mr. Henden clarify his thinking.

John Eastman
— John Eastman has a bachelor of arts in anthropology from Western Washington University.


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