Thursday, October 29, 2009
Michael Finley on Native America Calling
I am listening to the Chairman of the Colville Confederated Tribes, Michael Finley, on the nationally syndicated radio program Native America Calling. (Click here to play the October 28 show, Gonna Paint the White House Red.) Finley is the youngest ever chairman of the Colville Nation, the co-author of the excellent volume Finding Chief Kamiakin: The Life and Legacy of a Northwest Patriot. Finley also holds an MA in history from Eastern Washington University. He appeared on Native America Calling to discuss the upcoming Tribal Nations Conference at the White House that he will be attending.
As a faculty member at EWU it is exciting to watch Finley's progress. Though I wasn't a member of the department at the time I am told he was one of the most impressive students to come through our graduate history program in recent years. He has published a number of interesting articles recently as well as the biography of Kamiakin. And a few months ago he was elected tribal chairman. Finley is at his best on the program, for example describing the Grand Coulee dam as "an example of what the tribes have had to pay for what some call progress" and "the concrete monolith that . . . is like a tombstone for us" because it blocked the salmon runs. Check it out.