Native Americans

For the first time, the state of Oregon Thursday recognized that the Klamath tribes hold a senior claim to water in Klamath Lake and several of its tributaries. Amelia Templeton reports, it took the state almost forty years to sort through water rights in the high desert basin and issue an order.

Colville Tribes OK Wolf Hunt On Reservation

Dec 27, 2012
Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Colville Confederated Tribes have authorized a wolf hunt on their reservation. Steve Jackson has more on the story.

A tribal court on the Umatilla Indian Reservation is one of the first to hand down a long prison term under new tougher criminal sentencing laws enacted by Congress in 2010.

Two relatively obscure waterways in rural southeast Oregon are generating a heated dispute over geographic names. The small streams are both named "Squaw Creek," which is considered offensive to Native Americans. But the landowners in each case object to the proposed new names.

Photo Credit: Brian Atwater

Researchers have found fresh evidence of 26-foot-high tsunami waves that washed more than three miles in to the Olympic Peninsula.

Northwest Fire Season Stretches Tribal Resources Thin

Oct 4, 2012

Fire crews are pushing back against a new blaze near Omak, Wash. The 5,000-acre wildfire on the Colville Indian Reservation has already destroyed two homes and forced other residents to evacuate. The Northwest’s busy fire season has taken a toll on tribal lands this year.

Columbia River Indian tribes are opposing a ballot measure that would ban commercial gillnet fishing in Oregon. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Gas station owners in Washington have won the right to proceed with a lawsuit against the state. They’re challenging the policy of gas tax refunds to Native American tribes who operate their own gas stations. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has more on the implications.

An audience of thousands is expected at the port of Olympia this Sunday to witness the conclusion of the annual Northwest Indian canoe journey.

Franz Jantzen /

Northwest tribes stand to receive big payments from the federal government after a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday. Here’s the upshot of the ruling: the government has to uphold contracts with American Indian tribes, even if Congress shortchanges those deals.

A California American Indian tribe Tuesday asked federal regulators to order the removal of four dams on the Klamath River. The tribe says a restoration plan for the river is stalled. Amelia Templeton reports.

Oregon Bans American Indian Sports Mascots In Schools

May 17, 2012
Photo Credit: Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Native American-themed sports mascots will no longer be allowed in Oregon public schools. That's the decision Thursday by the state Board of Education. The vote was 5 to 1.

Photo by Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Since the 1970s, U.S. policy toward American Indian tribes has been to encourage economic independence. Tribal casinos are probably the most visible symbol of that policy. These days, tribes are diversifying into other businesses. In 2005, the Chehalis Indian tribe in southwest Washington partnered with a Wisconsin-based water park chain to build a destination resort. The state of Washington, in turn, granted the project tax exempt status. But now, correspondent Austin Jenkins has obtained internal state documents that question whether Great Wolf Lodge really is a tribal entity and eligible for favorable tax treatment.

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Fifteen Oregon schools may have to change their sports imagery soon. A state panel could vote later this month [May 17] on whether to ban Native American-themed mascots. The proposal faces resistance, as Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman found on a visit to the Willamette Valley town of Molalla.

This fall, Denise Everhart's son will become the fifth generation in his family to attend Molalla High School. He plans to play football.

Everhart: "He will be on the field as an Indian."

Photo credit: U.S. Dept. of Justice. / U.S. Dept. of Justice.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- A landmark settlement announced this week between the federal government and American Indian tribes is expected to have long-term effects beyond the $1 billion in the agreement. Nine Northwest tribes are part of the deal: Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Shoshone-Bannock, Colville, Spokane, Tulalip, Makah, Nooksack, Swinomish.

Photo courtesy of Lebanon High School

An Oregon School District is digging in its heels against a proposed state ban on Native American mascots. The School Board in the Willamette Valley farm town of Lebanon will consider a resolution Thursday to reject the ban.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

CHILOQUIN, Ore. -- You won’t find Lost River suckerfish on any menus in the Northwest. But for years, this fish was a staple for the tribes living in Southern Oregon. Now the fishery is in trouble, and the Klamath tribes are trying to figure out how to bring it back. Amelia Templeton reports.

Photo courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection

PLUMMER, Idaho - Jazz aficionados know Mildred Bailey as the legendary singer who cleared the way for female jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Less well known is the fact that Bailey was Native American. Now, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho has launched a campaign to bring the singer -- and her heritage -- into the spotlight. Jessica Robinson tells the story.

SPOKANE -- The Spokane Tribe of Indians just received a list of federal guidelines for their proposed casino project in Airway Heights. Along with the document came a new round of opposition. Paige Browning has more.

Photo by: Dan Cook / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

DALLESPORT, Wash. – Columbia River Indian tribes are keeping their ancient traditions alive in the coming weeks with ceremonies to open their spring fisheries. As Courtney Flatt explains, predictions of strong salmon runs are giving the tribes extra reason to celebrate.

Photo Credit: K. David Harrison / Northwest News Network

VANCOUVER, Canada - Usually it is good news when the Northwest appears on a top five list. But this one is not. Our region ranks near the top of a list of global hotspots for disappearing languages. The reason is that speakers of Native American languages are dwindling. Correspondent Tom Banse reports on how digital technology is coming to the rescue of some ancient tongues.

Photo by Wikimedia User User.Nikater / Wikimedia Commons

"Ecstatic," "amazed," and "stunned." Those are some of the words being used Tuesday around the tiny Quileute Indian Reservation on the Washington coast. This, after the U.S. Congress slightly shrank Olympic National Park to allow the tribe to move out of a tsunami zone. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation soon.

Photo credit Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. -  The US Congress has cleared the way for a tiny Washington tribe to move parts of its coastal village uphill and out of a tsunami zone. The move involves the transfer of 785 acres of Olympic National Park to the Quileute Indian Tribe. The park surrounds the tribe's tiny reservation and blocks its desire to expand to higher ground.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

ROY, Wash. - Mount Rainier was once known by its many native names. Now, an alliance of tribal members is moving forward with a proposal to restore an original name to this Northwest landmark. But a long bureaucratic process lies ahead, as correspondent Tom Banse reports.