Bring Native Americans into government
Probably the most sought-after political position in Napa is an appointment to the city or county planning commission. Decisions are made in these commission meetings that greatly affect the economic and social life of the Napa Valley.
Architects, artists, real estate developers, local historians, bankers, lawyers all apply to the commissions. Members often advance to membership in the city council or board of supervisors.
Maybe it is time to appoint a special-interest person: A Native American Indian who is familiar with their heritage. This person can bring insight to the difficult decisions government leaders must make in this time of questionable land use, droughts, and fires.
Remember, Indians survived on native plants, controlled the animal population, and burned their garbage. They survived for thousands of years. Their populations were decimated by Europeans and western expansion of the U.S.
Personal journals at the time of the Gold Rush discuss weekend outings to “kill an Indian.” But this population thrives today and holds onto that appreciation of the Earth.
We need the wisdom of Native Americans to balance the grab for land which occurs today.
Linda Irvine Georgette
Don’t forget Napa’s interfaith community
Thank you for your fine coverage of events commemorating 9/11 up and down the Valley. The images and accounts were very moving, as were the events themselves in real-time.
However, you overlooked one important commemorative event that deserves celebration in these pages. Napa’s Interfaith Leaders Council conducted a beautiful interfaith service last Saturday evening at Napa’s 9/11 memorial, which included representatives from local United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, and Adventist Christian congregations; the imam of our local mosque; the president of Napa’s synagogue; the minister of the Center for Spiritual Living; a leader of the local Baha’i community; the Clerk of the Napa Friends (Quaker) Meeting; and myself, a professional chaplain and priest of Soto Zen Buddhism.
One of the silver linings in this terrible, ongoing COVID pandemic has been the growth of interfaith relationships and collaborations up and down the Valley. Through regular meetings and across the religious spectrum, we have gathered to share information, discuss how best to support our respective communities, and encourage one another spiritually over the past 18 months. We differ in various ways, including our theologies, but we are united in a shared commitment to the Golden Rule: to love one another and the “strangers” among us as much as we love ourselves and our own.
Representatives of our various faiths offered prayers for the victims and survivors of 9/11 and of the wars that followed. It was a beautiful display of interfaith friendship and solidarity, a powerful medicine that our hurting world urgently needs.
Napa’s interfaith community is worthy of celebration and support — it must not be taken for granted. Together, people of all religious and spiritual paths, as well as those whose faith rests in humanity and science, can unite to mourn our shared human predicament and celebrate our collective resilience and capacity to heal.
As the USA’s national motto reminds us, e Pluribus Unum: Out of many, one. In the many Names of, and with prayers for the help of That which is greater than us, and which has the power to unite and heal us all, I pray.
I hope the Register’s pages will be more attentive to the contributions of Napa’s interfaith community in the future.
Rev. Wakoh Shannon Hickey