tribal affairs

Norm Sands/Run4Salmon Facebook page

Salmon can no longer make the journey from the Sacramento/San Joaquin delta to the McCloud River, so now people do it.  During the Run4Salmon, the Winnemem Wintu and supporters make a 300 mile prayerful journey from the Bay-Delta to the McCloud, tracing the migratory spawning route of winter-run Chinook salmon.

ONDA

The Oregon Natural Desert Association takes a variety of approaches to protecting Oregon's desert lands.  The approaches now include training descendants of the desert's original inhabitants to help in the protection processes. 

The Tribal Stewards Program launched this summer with members of the Warm Springs, Siletz, and Navajo tribes. 

Linda Tanner, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31893926

Members of the region's tribes have a long history of collecting food from the land and water nearby.  But that history has been interrupted by white settlement, and now rates of food insecurity are higher for Native Americans than other group in the country. 

Part of the problem is legal limits to access foods that are still available naturally, from acorns to deer.  University of California-Berkeley researchers tracked the food insecurity of the members of the Karuk, Yurok, Hoopa, and Klamath Tribes

They found issues accessing both traditional and modern foods. 

Coquilletribe.org

They are an ancient people, but the Coquille tribe celebrates a 30-year anniversary this weekend (June 29th).  It's been 30 years since the Coquille became a federally recognized tribe once again, after years off the lists, as a "terminated" tribe. 

An act of Congress restored tribal status in 1989, and the Coquille have worked to enhance the well-being of members and grow financially since that time. 

William Smith

We admit to thinking about dessert while we start a meal.  So it's always right up our alley when discussions of food turn to sweeter offerings. 

Those include honey, featured this weekend (May 18th) at the Oregon Honey & Mead Festival in Ashland.  Will Smith, our partner for a monthly food segment we call Savor, returns to take up the subject.  Festival boss Sharon Schmidt also visits.

And we bring in another guest, Marla Bull Bear, who runs a honey-making project with young people at the Lakota Youth Development Project

Keith Burtis/Flickr

Native American tribes across the country have worked over the years to install justice systems that are in tune with tribal culture.  The federal government provides financial support to the efforts, and recently awarded large sums to tribes in our region. 

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians plans to use the money--more than $700,000--for transitional housing.  The Klamath Tribes plan to enhance programs for crime victims, and the Karuk Tribe will be able to build a Victim Services Access Center. 

ruffeyrancheria.org

Siskiyou County's representative in Congress, Doug LaMalfa, introduced a bill to restore federal status to a group of Native Americans in the county. 

And some of the most outspoken people opposing the move are representatives from other tribes. 

The Ruffey Rancheria would gain the benefits of restoration if the bill passes, but the Karuk Tribe and others question whether the people seeking restoration are even related to members of the original rancheria. 

Facebook

"Neither Wolf Nor Dog" takes an acclaimed non-fiction book by an Oregon author and puts it on the big screen. 

Kent Nerburn got to know a Lakota man named Dan, and through him, about the very different ways of looking at the world in white and native cultures

Readers praised the way the book avoided the usual white-man-gets-to-appreciate-red-path tropes.  Steven Lewis Simpson is the director of the film, coming to Eugene in a couple of weeks. 

John Duffy/Wikimedia

In an autumn filled with big news stories, DAPL (pronounced "dapple") has proven to be an enduring one. 

The Dakota Access Pipeline is being built to carry oil from the Dakotas to markets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast. 

But a segment as yet unbuilt would cross ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.  And protestors have flocked from across the country to stand with the tribe against the pipeline. 

Rogue Valley resident and Red Earth Descendants founder Dan Wahpepah has already traveled to the protest site with supplies.  Charly Otterrobe lives here now but is from Standing Rock. 

Shasta Community Access Channel

"The winners write the history books," goes the old saying. 

And it's a saying that has particularly grim implications right here in our country.  Because white settlers ultimately won the war with Native Americans.  Genocide is another term increasingly used to describe what happened.

The situation is explored in a play called "Undamming History," to be presented at the Cascade Theatre in Redding.  It's a collaboration between the Shasta Historical Society and four tribes in the area, presented as part of Indigenous Peoples' History Day. 

Karuk Tribe Opens Herbaria

Aug 23, 2016
Karuk Tribe

Reasserting tribal identities involves more than focus on the people. 

It also involves focus on the things that surrounded the people, in nature, in previous generations. 

So the Karuk Tribe is elevating its preservation of natural resources significant to the tribe, with the opening of the Tribal Herbaria.  Herbaria, the plural of herbarium, are collections of plants; in this case, plants native the to the lands in which the Karuk are native. 

This is believed to be among the first native plant collections managed by an indigenous people. 

Yurok Salmon Festival Skips The Salmon

Aug 17, 2016
visityurokcountry.com

The Yurok Tribe will host its annual Klamath Salmon Festival on schedule on Saturday.  But for the first time in the half-century history of the festival, no salmon will be served. 

Tribal leaders say there just are not enough fish to feed all the festival visitors. 

Not with any sense of environmental responsibility, anyway. 

Glass Mountain in the highlands.

Medicine Lake Highlands in Siskiyou County are free of geothermal energy development today. 

And if the Pit River Tribe and their supporters get their way, the highlands will stay geothermal-free. 

The highlands hold great cultural significance for the tribe, which went to court in an effort to stop geothermal leases from being used.  A recent ruling went in the tribe's favor. 

Native Man Lived In White World

Oct 27, 2015
Viking Press

Maybe you never heard of Edward Proctor Hunt, but he lived a fascinating life. 

He was born into the Acoma Pueblo tribe in New Mexico in the middle of the 19th century, and ultimately lived as an indian in a white world. 

Peter Nabokov tells the story of Hunt in How The World Moves

The book forces readers to confront the fascination with native culture and artifacts American display on one hand, while uprooting and exterminating tribes on the other hand. 

Yurok Tribe Expands Justice Programs

Jul 17, 2015
Yurok Tribe

Northern California's Yurok Tribe is taking a greater hand in the administration of justice to its members.

The tribe recently opened a new justice center in Klamath, and is making plans to move juvenile cases from state court to tribal court. 

The juvenile court plans are part of a larger vision for younger Yuroks through the Yurok Youth Wellness Project.

Winnemem Wintu Plight On TV

May 12, 2015
Standingonsacredground.org

The concerns of California's Winnemem Wintu Tribe get an airing on public TV with the creation of the film series "Standing On Sacred Ground."

The title is apt for the tribe, which is not currently federally recognized, and concerned about plans to raise Shasta Dam. 

The resulting raising of the lake would inundate what few historic sacred sites the tribe still has access to. 

Coquille Casino Plans Move Ahead

Jan 19, 2015
Coquille Tribe

Dueling billboards along Pacific Highway in South Medford give a clue to a battle shaping up. 

The Coquille Tribe wants to build a casino on the former site of Kim's Restaurant. 

That explains the Coquille billboard.  The other is rented by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians, which opposes the casino plan. 

Local and state officials have also spoken out against a Medford casino, but the Coquilles are moving ahead.  A public meeting is planned for February 3rd. 

Tribal Services Suffer Under Shutdown

Oct 7, 2013

If the government shutdown goes on too long, it will mean the end of services for the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians.

The Confederated Tribes have enough funding to last two to three weeks. For now, the tribes have funding to maintain police and health care services.

New Money For Tribal Justice And Safety

Sep 23, 2013
stockmonkeys.com

The federal government just awarded millions of dollars in grants to American Indian tribes around the country, including several in Oregon.  The money is earmarked for law enforcement and crime prevention practices, and those program areas can be very broadly defined.