I have been following with interest the ongoing dispute over water rights between The Trinidad Rancheria and the city of Trinidad ('Our Sovereign Right,' July 2). Truth is, this entire country belonged to the Native Americans before it was stolen from them. If they were not being civilized and acted like today's protesters, they could basically go in and take Trinidad back and burn it to the ground. But they are not. I've lived here my entire life and watched the local Native Americans spend a generation trying to re-establish themselves in a land that was taken from them in the first place. They have played by the rules given to them, acting civilized and still have to fight for every little bit of gain.
From what I can see that our local tribes have done, has been good for everyone and the economy. The city of Trinidad, however, has done nothing over the years to provide good paying jobs, etc. All it has done is cater to the millionaires who own property in that area. I have worked for a couple of Native American owned business owners in our area over the years when I was between jobs or just needed the extra work. They have always put me to work whether they needed me or not.
The city of Trinidad should be doing a better job at working with the tribe to get this resolved. People don't come to Trinidad to just gamble. They come to vacation, fish, visit the area, etc. This is a win-win situation for both. I highly recommend a book to read called Little White Father: Redick McKee on the California Frontier by Ray Raphael. It's about our government's treaties with the local tribes in our area. If it doesn't make you sick, nothing will.
Clifford E Viale, Eureka