Debbie Clems, the waitress at the Coeur d’ Elaine Casino restaurant is a fourth generation descendant of pioneers. “We burn the blue grass fields every year after harvest. This lets the nutrients nourish the soil which gives the field’s new life â€“lasting seven years.” Then he frowns; “Only problem is you can only burn fields on reservation land. That’s why our blue grass, sir, that’s hay, is the best feed for horses.” Deb goes on to tell me that in times past in order to raise money the tribe sold a lot of land to farmers like her ancestors. Their families can now take advantage of the field burning advantage.
“Now I live in Worley cause that’s where my husband’s from”, Deb relates as she serves me freshly caught trout. “But, I don’t like towns. Actually, I’m a country girl. In Worley we have 200 people. That’s too much”
“We have 2000 slots in this casino”, Christine tell me.”Don’t know how many people come here but we are always busy”
Darryl, the busboy, has a small bear claw tattooed on his right hand just above the thumb.”It’s a family emblem, he explains.”Only I and my grandfather have this tattoo. Actually, I’m not from this tribe. I’m Puyallup.”