Native Americans

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

You've no doubt heard people say they're "goin' fishin'." But how about going "eeling?" As in, fishing for eel.

For centuries, Native Americans from Boise to Wenatchee to the southern Oregon coast have harvested Pacific lamprey, colloquially called eels. Monday, the Warm Springs and Yakama tribes held a season-opening "blessing ceremony" at Willamette Falls. Correspondent Tom Banse reports the event happened against a backdrop of treaty rights tension over management of the dwindling fish.

Mary Randlett

It started with the discovery of long-forgotten gravestones in a thicket of bramble and alder. That set one author on the faint trail of a feisty Native American woman and oyster farmer who lived in 19th century western Washington. The biographer is using the resulting book to inspire other Northwesterners - particularly tribal members. She wants to bring out the stories of people who, in her words, have been "left out of our histories." Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Oyster Bay in Mason County, Washington.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

This week two skeletons found upstream of the cracked Wanapum Dam were handed over to Northwest tribes. The remains were found near each other several weeks ago along the newly exposed Columbia River shore.

Anna King

In the recent past, native fishers have sold just-caught fish from coolers at near-river sites. But this weekend, a woman entrepreneur is opening the first brick and mortar, Native American family owned fish market along the Columbia River. 

Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

Tribal leaders from the Northwest and from around the country had the opportunity today to tell the Obama Administration what they want in the coming year. The White House convened what has become an annual conference with Native American tribes. A University of Washington law school professor will be giving advice all year long thanks to his appointment to a new Justice Department advisory panel. Ron Whitener says the group is specifically looking at violence faced by American Indian children.

Elvert Barnes

A Native American ceremony was held in Riverfront Park in Spokane Friday to protest plans for coal shipping terminals on the west coast.

The State Anthropologist has determined remains found in a septic drain field dig are those of a Native American woman who died anywhere from several hundred to a couple thousand years ago.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is signaling his intent to veto a bill that would ease a ban on Native American mascots.

Photo courtesy of Sandy White Shield, Inter Tribal Buffalo Council.

Northwest Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation stretches across 1.5 million acres. But -- it turns out – that isn’t enough room for the free-roaming bison herd that tribes are attempting to establish. Northwest Native Americans are hoping restored buffalo herds may reopen ancient trade and cultural traditions.

Amelia Templeton

This week, water regulators are ordering dozens of ranchers along Southern Oregon’s Williamson River to shut down their irrigation pumps.

It’s the latest round of shutoffs near the headwaters of the Klamath River. The state says it is necessary to protect treaty rights of tribes who live downstream. But the water shut-off jeopardizes a multimillion-dollar cattle ranching industry.

For EarthFix, Amelia Templeton reports.