To the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community:
I have lived in Oak Harbor for more than 25 years and have frequented your bingo/gambling/dining establishment for all those years as well.
When our children were little we would get a babysitter and come to your Swinomish Casino and have a quiet dinner, followed by a bingo session.
When our children were old enough they used to have a children’s night at Swinomish and we would take them with us.
Today, those children are in their late 20s, and they go to your casino without mom and dad.
Over the years we have had many family dinners at your facility and whenever we have company from out of town we often go as well.
The reason for my letter is that I read in our local newpaper, the Whidbey News-Times, that you are suing us — Oak Harbor — for $9 million.
The reason is for “desecration of a burial ground.”
I want you to know that neither me, my family nor my extended family or friends knew there was a burial ground.
We are very sorry for the “damages” caused. We also had no control over the project that caused the trouble in the first place.
We are wondering why the Swinomish Tribe did not stop the project before it ever broke ground and long before it came to the point of suing our small community.
As usual, the people who live here, work hard and had no control over this event will end up paying for it.
With that in mind, we all want to say that, after working hard for all these years, we all enjoyed coming to the Swinomish to relax just a little.
Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to support an establishment that is suing us for $9 million.
We just can’t afford to, but thank you for the memories.