January 14, 2012 in Letters, Opinion

Stuckart learns lessons


I’d like to note what a very fine person Ben Stuckart is. At his swearing-in ceremony at the MAC, he asked Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chief Jamie Sijohn to deliver the invocation, and Ben acknowledged the importance of the MAC’s collection.

I was reflecting on my first real encounter with Ben on an annual trip of child advocates from Spokane to Olympia, led by the fearless Marilee Roloff. Toni Lodge and Tara Dowd from NATIVE Project were in attendance, and Ben brashly said a few things that caused Tara to explain in great detail to him how very ignorant he was about local American Indian history and culture.

The rest of us assured Ben that she had understated the case about how important this knowledge of the first peoples would be if he were to become an effective civic leader.

To his grand credit, Ben went back repeatedly to Tara and he did learn.

No doubt he will take a few missteps in his new role as council president, but we can count on Ben to acknowledge his mistakes and learn from them.

Mary Ann Murphy

Executive Director, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Washington


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