Yakama Nation

Lamprey Ceremony
7:20 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Lamprey Fishing Blessing Ceremony Has Tribal Sovereignty Undertone

Children and tribal elders alike danced the eel dance at Clackamette Park on Monday.
Credit 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.

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legalized Marijuana
6:19 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Yakama Tribes Take Pot Stand On Traditional Lands

Leaders of the Yakama Nation say they see little benefit to sales or farming of legalized marijuana on their traditional lands. And the tribes are making moves to prevent anyone from operating a pot business on an area that adds up to one-fifth of the state’s land mass.

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NW Historic Site
7:33 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Historic Site, Rock Art Cave Delay Transmission Line

Four human-like figures were painted here hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. BPA says it’s committed to preserving culturally sensitive spots and agreed to move the power tower 20 feet away from its original spot when the Yakama Nation brought up concerns over drilling near the cave.
Credit Mike Taylor / CultureWatch Northwest

Northwest history is colliding with the need to upgrade the region’s electric transmission grid. It’s happening on a windblown patch of riverfront property at the east end of the Columbia River Gorge.

The Bonneville Power Administration is trying to build a new transmission line across that land. But conflicts over historical preservation have increased the cost of the project to $185 million and stalled progress for more than a year. Colin Fogarty begins our story in Wishram, Washington.

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Pacific Lamprey eels
6:37 am
Fri July 26, 2013

How Pacific Lamprey Could Help Nourish Streams

Eva Carl with a dead Pacific Lamprey eel, which has been attracting the attention macro-invertebrates to Northwest Streams. These macro-invertebrates are essential to algae growth in the stream, which will help keep the creeks healthy.
Credit Courtney Flatt

Pacific lamprey are toothy eels that were once plentiful in the Northwest. Many considered them trash fish, but they are an important staple to Native American diets and ceremonies. Lamprey numbers have greatly declined in the past few decades. Now there is a push to understand more about the eels, so more can be harvested for tribal tables.

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