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Opinion >  Letters

Pakootas an American story

Joe Pakootas comes from very humble roots. He was born on the reservation and became a ward of the state. Joe and six of his siblings were sent to live with a foster family. Joe has seen firsthand the devastation of alcoholism. He very well could have taken that path but he endeavored and chose not to.

To this day, Joe wears a pendant around his neck based on a James Earle Foster sculpture of the plains Native American slumped in the saddle. He doesn’t wear this out of any stylish fashion but because it reminds him of his deceased brother, who admired this artwork. Joe will tell you that his brother’s death is always with him. Joe also wears a bracelet as well on his wrist as a painful reminder of his 6-year-old niece who lost her battle with aplastic anemia.

Joe persevered and became a very successful businessman. He enriched others on the way encouraging education and entrepreneurship. Joe’s life is truly an American story, a story of a shining example to those who are born in to uncertain lives. Joe walks the walk in diversity bridging two cultures by highlighting our common good and decency.

I personally believe if Joe Pakootas is elected as our Congressman, he will be a great leader in healing America’s divide. We need a Capt. Sully, a Jimmy Stewart, a Chief Joseph, and we would get them in Joe Pakootas. My vote is for Joe Pakootas.

Richard Hayward II


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