Where's the good news?
While I was interested in the article, "Looking for Balance in Navajoland," and am well aware that controversy and upset sell better than routine good performance, I wonder if you could manage at least a couple of stories on some of the success stories in Indian Country (HCN, 8/22/11). There must be many, but one I will point out is that of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Of course they have their problems, but as a contractor to the Council for almost 20 years, I found them no more difficult to deal with than many federal, state, county or local agencies. My relationship with them ended 10-plus years ago with my retirement, and since then they could have devolved into anarchy. But I doubt it. I also doubt that this is the only or even the best story that could be written. Their outlook and actions were intelligent and sound and their respect for their people, land and non-human inhabitants surpassed many other governments.
Alexander "Sandy" Kunzer
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Editor's note: Many of our stories do involve controversy and ask critical questions, not because "upset sells," but because in our role as Western watchdogs, it's likely that important developments worth reporting on will involve some controversy. However, HCN has and does print tribal success stories, including those from the Flathead Reservation.