Should natives spend their money elsewhere?


A response to J.A. Keane's letter: My reservation, in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, is the largest in this country. I do not know of any other communities that compare in size to my sovereign land where liquor is not sold. My people do not have the luxury of going to a liquor store to buy liquor, returning home, enjoying a relaxing evening and sleeping in a nice warm bed. Liquor is not allowed on my reservation.

Cortez, Colo., is a border town, unique as all other towns surrounding my rez. My people come and spend their money here. They buy your enticing "fire water," which my mother called "the devil." Should all natives bypass Cortez, and spend "our" money elsewhere to avoid your discomfort? Growing up, I recall the times families and relatives picked up loved ones as soon as we were told where to find them. It was a constant process, but we persevered.

We both have the right to freely express our thoughts. My orphaned father was raised by his grandmother who made the Long Walk of 1868 back home. I am extremely grateful to all the good people in this town and all border towns who cared and shared time with my father toward his end in life. Their words from my father to me were: "It was a job that had to be done." He was a Code Talker. Dad and great-grandmother, you make me proud.

Trudy Erickson



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