Welcome everyone to the new Chairman’s Blog. I have developed this blog to tear down some of the barriers we face with communication. There is so much going on within the Washoe Tribe that it becomes difficult to keep people up to date with what and why things are happening. The information on here is for all to read, learn, and share. I will be mainly addressing the Washoe Tribal Membership, but I will also be giving some education that everyone can benefit from. I will be talking about culture, history, government, law, and giving my own perspective on these issues. I will also be sharing my personal experiences and stories for you to enjoy. I would like everyone to know that my opinions about things may change from time to time. I believe in continuously educating myself to become better, so that I can make better decisions for my fellow Washoe People.
Now that everyone has a good idea of what this blog is about, let’s get started. I want to use this first post to talk a little about who I am and why I’m here. My name is Serrell Smokey and I am an enrolled member of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. I grew on the Dresslerville Reservation in Gardnerville, NV. When I turned 18, I joined the Army as a way to leave the Reservation and explore the outside world. I ended up as a Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and served with them in Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-2004. I served again with the Nevada National Guard, 485th Military Police Company in support of Operation Spartan Shield 2016-2017. I can honestly say that I gained most of my leadership skills in the military. I began my higher education at Haskell Indian Nations University studying Business and Tribal Management. I ended up moving back to Nevada and changed my major. I have since earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I also continue to study and learn, trying to gain as much knowledge as possible.
Aside from my formal studies on Tribal Law and Government, I have been around these topics most of my life. I have many family members who have served many years on the Councils of different Tribal Governments, so I heard all of the rants and raves throughout the years. Native American history was the common topic in the household I grew up in. Many of the major topics that have shaped our history were frequently discussed and debated. We will go into a deeper look at these in future blog posts. I have found out that many of the things that I consider “common knowledge” are not so common. So, I wish to spread that knowledge out to all of you, along with an insight to some of the things that are going on right now. There are many things we are dealing with, both good and bad. I hope we can continue to learn and grow together as Washoe People and Human Beings.