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Location: Redding, CA, United States

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy and the Winnemem

As we all now know, Senator Ted Kennedy passed away. Why is this noteworthy to the Winnemem? Well, although he was from Massachusetts and had a past that was not all that stellar, he made up for it and served the country to the best of his ability.

He died due to a cancer in his brain I hear, and I wonder if the stem cell research he was talking about awhile back might have saved him? I don't know but I do know that of all the Senators in Washington, even including those from our state here of California, Mr. Kennedy, gave the Winnemem some of his time and encouragement.

Caleen and I met him at a dinner we attended and spoke to him about his brother Jack's visit to Redding for the dedication of Keswick Dam. We talked to him about Bobby's committment to Indian people while he was running for President in 1968. We talked to him about the broken promises made to the Winnemem and all California Tribal people and you know what? He listened, offered some suggestions and shared a laugh with us, not at our expense but from his heart.

We join those who knew him and respected him for his work in the Senate in expressing our condolences to his family: one that seems to have had its share of misfortune amidst the fortune it realized. We are sad that he has gone: as I said he, a man from the East Coast, took the time to meet with us and talk with us. Perhaps Senators Feinstein and Boxer will some day do the same.

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