I would like to take this time to honor and recognize a hardworking individual who did an outstanding job as a cook for the Nez Perce Tribe Senior Citizen’s Program. Errol Robinson had been the Kamiah cook for eight years. During those years, Errol had earned the trust and respect of our Upriver Elders.
For some of our elders this may be their only meal of the day. Errol did his best with what he had to make their meals healthy, homemade and delicious. Errol knew every elder’s likes and dislikes and what they can and cannot eat. Errol’s energetic, outgoing and upbeat attitude made lunch time at the senior center something to look forward to everyday.
Aside from work, Errol also carried this care and concern for the elder’s when he was not working. Errol had been called several times over the years to help elder’s with odd jobs or for something more serious such as helping an elder or their spouse who had fallen or been injured.
If there was an elder in the hospital, Errol kept in touch with them through phone calls or hospital visits.
When an elder passed on, Errol was at their memorial or funeral expressing his sincere condolences to the families of their loved one.
When the senior budget was low and he was temporarily laid off, Errol continued to keep the kitchen open so elders still had something to eat, despite not receiving a paycheck.
On Dec. 7, 2008 Errol lost his only son in a tragic car accident. His son was only 27. The show of support for Errol and his family from the tribal community was remarkable. In return, for his love and respect for others while on and off the job, the tribal community came together to help Errol and his family during their difficult time.
If there is an employee for the Nez Perce Tribe who should have been recognized for their hard work and dedication to their job and the people they serve, it should have gone to Errol Robinson.
Instead, the Nez Perce Tribe Social Services Program and the Nez Perce Senior Program chose to terminate Errol for insubordination. I feel Errol was purposely singled out.
If there was one person employed by the Nez Perce Tribe who had true compassion, care, and love for our tribal elders, that person was Errol Robinson. It was a sad day in the Kamiah community when we heard of his firing.
– Ayisha Williams