Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Umatilla
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January 2014

Umatilla: Tribe Battles Mega-Loads Headed for Alberta Oil Sands - Cathy Sampson-Kruse (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla) and her Walla Walla ancestors come from the land near the Port of Umatilla in Eastern Oregon, where on December 3 a 901,000-pound mega-load was about to embark to Alberta, Canada, to be used in the extraction of viscous crude bitumen from the province’s notorious oil sands.

Umatilla: Tribal members vote for housing project - A decade after the discovery of human remains shut down a construction site on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, tribal members have voted to revive the housing development.

December 2013

Umatilla: Former Umatilla tribal cop gets prison term for off-duty sexual abuse of woman - A federal judge in Portland on Monday sentenced a former Umatilla tribal police officer to 2 ½ years in prison for making unwanted sexual contact with a woman while off duty and lying to the FBI about the incident. U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman also imposed five years of post-prison supervision on 44-year-old Fermore Joseph Craig Jr.

Umatilla: Burke wins chair in CTUIR election - Gary Burke is the new chair of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Board of Trustees. Burke was chosen Tuesday in a tribal election with 381 votes — or 54 percent — to incumbent Les Minthorn's 332 votes.

October 2013

Umatilla: Union Pacific, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation reach access agreement - Union Pacific Railroad and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have completed a master access agreement to re-establish tribal member access to historic fishing and hunting grounds through the Meacham Canyon area.

Umatilla: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla receive battle site land - #The Frenchtown Historical Foundation has given 30 acres between Old Highway 12 and the Walla Walla River to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Umatilla: City tribal liaison charged with domestic violence - A tribal liaison in the Seattle Office of Intergovernmental Relations was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence after police say she repeatedly hit her boyfriend at their apartment after both had been drinking. Nicole Willis, 30, was arrested and jailed Saturday after her boyfriend called 911 to report that she hit him several times in the head and knocked away his cellphone after he tried to pour out alcohol.

Umatilla: Eagle aviary proposed in Pendleton for tribal feather supply - Tribal members who need eagle feathers for religious and ceremonial purposes often face a long wait. “The current process for tribal members to secure eagle feathers is to apply to the National Eagle Repository,” said Carl Scheeler, Wildlife Program Manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. “The waiting time can be up to a year.” A proposed eagle aviary in Pendleton could dramatically decrease the wait.

Umatilla: Tribe fights to keep language alive - Tribal members living in the Pendleton Round-Up’s teepee village stopped, listened and peeked their heads west when Carina Vasquez-Minthorn sang the national anthem at last week’s Happy Canyon Night Show. Vasquez-Minthorn, 20, a Happy Canyon princess, sang in the Umatilla language for the first time at the show. Some cried, others clapped and cheered.

Umatilla: Former tribal police officer pleads guilty to unwanted sexual contact with woman, lying to FBI - A former Umatilla tribal police officer pleaded guilty this week to making unwanted sexual contact with a woman while off duty last May and lying to the FBI about it, government prosecutors reported. Fermore Joseph Craig Jr., a 43-year-old Pendleton resident, faces up to five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI, and his conviction will require him to register as a sex offender. He had served as a Umatilla Tribal Police officer for about 15 years.

Umatilla: Futuristic Bio-Lab Melds Science and Ancient Wisdom on Umatilla Rez - A new, state-of-the-art field station and laboratory in Mission, Oregon is bringing together science and ancient wisdom as tribal members and students analyze everything from pollutants to the uses and composition of traditional plants using the latest technology.

Umatilla: Idaho man sentenced for sexually abusing girl on Umatilla reservation - An Idaho man who sexually abused a 14-year-old member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has been sentenced to 6 ½ years in federal prison. Thomas Lee Bear of Lewiston pleaded guilty earlier this year to sexual abuse of a minor.

Umatilla: Wildhorse Foundation announces grants awards totaling $208,458 - The community benefit fund established by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation recently awarded money for projects, including those that provide education, public health and safety benefits. A total of $239,467 was awarded to 35 recipients, bringing the total for 2013 to nearly $450,000.

Umatilla: Horse slaughter ignites passion, but not realism - One of the most heart-wrenching effects of the Great Recession is thousands of abandoned horses that roam federal and tribal lands. In addition to the animals’ suffering, their numbers are take a toll on the land and habitat. One may see it on lands of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Eastern Oregon.

August 2013

Umatilla: Tribal-Owned Fish Retail Shop To Open On Columbia River Soon - For thousands of years, Northwest tribes have used the Columbia River as a regional center of commerce. For the first time this summer, they’re building a new venue for their ancient tradition – a native-owned seafood shop.

Umatilla: Contemporary Art from Oregon’s Umatilla Indian Reservation - In the shadow of the Blue Mountain foothills on the Umatilla Reservation in Orgeon, Crow’s Shadow Institute of Art has been nurturing and cultivating American Indian artists from across the country. The works of seven of those artists are now on display at the American Indian Museum’s Gustav Heye Center in New York City.

Umatilla: Chemical Depot's future could be business - The Umatilla Chemical Depot is preparing to transfer its more than 9,000 acres to local control, and businesses recruited to the site could be operating by 2014. Dave Tovey, authority chairman and executive director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, said, local control of the site is too valuable not to pursue.

Umatilla: Tribal fisherman harvest Pacific lamprey from the Willamette Falls - Tribal fisherman from Pendleton motor to the Willamette Falls to harvest lamprey, Sat., Jun. 29, 2013, in Oregon City. The fish hang out in pools below the falls and also climb the rock walls to move up stream.

Umatilla: Wildhorse hosts 19th annual Powwow - The Wildhorse Resort & Casino will host its 19th annual Powwow July 5-7. The powwow will include over 20 drum groups, more than 300 native dancers and upwards of 50 vendors selling Native American food, bead-work, clothing and jewelry.

June 2013

Umatilla: Tribe arrests man after stabbing - Umatilla Tribal Police arrested a man Friday after a stabbing on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The tribes charged McCallister John Sohappy, 20, with assault, menacing, harassment, recklessly endangering another and attempted criminal homicide. Police booked him into the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton.

May 2013

Umatilla: BPA considering Tribes' proposed hatchery - The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation wants to build a hatchery that would expand its existing facility for adult salmon holding and spawning, located near Milton-Freewater.

Umatilla: Where Tribal Justice Works - In 2011, a man in northeastern Oregon beat his girlfriend with a gun, using it like a club to strike her in front of their children. Both were members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The federal government, which has jurisdiction over major crimes in Indian Country, declined to prosecute. So the tribes stepped in. The man was convicted in their courts and sentenced to 790 days in federal prison. But had the assault happened a week earlier, the case could never have gone to trial.

Umatilla: BPA seeks public comments on proposed fish hatchery - Bonneville Power Administration is seeking public comment as it considers funding a proposed fish hatchery for spring Chinook in the Walla Walla River Basin. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation plan to build the hatchery at an existing Adult Holding and Spawning Facility on the South Fork Walla Walla River, near Milton-Freewater.

Umatilla: Basketball Daughters Bring All-Out Pride To Umatilla Indian Reservation - When Louisville plays Connecticut in the NCAA women’s championship Tuesday, fans in Northwest Indian country will be cheering. That’s because two Native American sisters are leading the Louisville Cardinals and they hail from a reservation in northeast Oregon

Umatilla: Mammoth Cup tournament to be held at Wildhorse - The first Mammoth Cup Golf Tournament will be May 3 at the Wildhorse Resort Golf Course. This scramble-format tourney is planned to be Tamástslikt’s premier fundraiser and an opportunity to play one of the region’s top golf courses. Tamástslikt Cultural Institute is the interpretive center and museum of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Umatilla: Tamastslikt still awaiting answer on turbine - The Natural Resources Commission for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has again postponed its decision regarding Tamastslikt Cultural Institute’s proposed small wind turbine. The committee hopes to make a final decision at its April 9 meeting as to whether Tamastslikt can build the 170-foot turbine on its property.

April 2013

Umatilla: Fish ladder restoration paying off - A study tracking the migration of salmon and steelhead in the Umatilla River shows local fishermen and their gilled counterparts have benefited from changes made to local irrigation dams in the past decade.

Umatilla: The Sensational Schimmel Sisters Lead Louisville Against Middle Tennessee State - Directing the Cardinals is All-Big East junior point guard Shoni Schimmel, who leads the team in scoring and assists with 13.8 points and 3.7 assists per game. Super sixth-woman is sister Jude Schimmel, a sophomore who is second on the team with 2.8 assists per game. The Schimmel sisters are from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon.

Umatilla: Paintings by a local artist will find an international audience this summer in Venice, Italy - The 55th Venice Biennale will feature a multi-panel painting by expressionist artist James Lavadour of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Umatilla: Tribal Wind Project In Pendleton Receives $257,372 From Blue Sky Customers? - A 50-kilowatt wind power project atop the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is now closer to reality thanks in part to $257,372 in funding from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky renewable energy program.

March 2013

Umatilla: Darlene M. Loma - Our beloved Darlene M. Loma, 74, of Toppenish went to the Creator on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. A Umatilla tribal member, she frequented powwows and longhouses on the Yakama reservation and attended the local Catholic Church.

Umatilla: Tribes maintain marijuana ban for Washington sites - The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation recently issued an emergency regulation maintaining a ban on marijuana at its fishing and access sites.

February 2013

Umatilla: Bigfoot or animals? Strange sounds coming from swamp on Umatilla Indian Reservation - The eerie late-night serenades began in November and emanate from a brushy swamp on the Umatilla Indian Reservation east of Pendleton. The cries range from high-pitched screams to basso profundo roars.

January 2013

Umatilla: Happy Canyon princesses introduced - Two women who will be part of this year’s Pendleton Round-Up festivities were introduced to the public Saturday. Anna Harris and Carina Vasquez-Minthorn will travel throughout the West promoting the Happy Canyon Night Show to be held Sept. 11-14 in Pendleton. Both Harris and Vasquez-Minthorn are enrolled members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Nez Perce-Umatilla: Regional fish projects receive state funds - Salmon projects in the region netted a healthy bump from the state during the latest round of grant funding. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will fix a barrier to fish passage in the north fork of the Touchet River. The Nez Perce Tribe will replace two culverts that block fish passage in Pataha Creek with bridges to benefit steelhead that use the creek.

December 2012

Umatilla: Northwest Tribes Begin To Try Reservation Crime Cases Under Tougher Laws - 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. It used to be that tribes could only sentence a Native American criminal to up to one year of jail time -- no matter the crime. Typically the U.S. Justice Department was called in for everything else -– but many cases were dropped. Now, tribal courts have the power to sentence native criminals who commit crimes on a reservation up to three years per count, for up to nine years.

November 2012

Umatilla: Eastern Oregon tribes take on wild horses - Near the end of September, Gordy Schumacher called Buck Brogoitti Animal Rescue and asked it to take on an injured wild mare and her foal. Mother and baby included, Schumacher, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation's agricultural and forestry manager, captured 14 of the estimated 400 wild horses roaming both sides of the Umatilla River by using a helicopter to herd them into a corral. Although Schumacher was able to leave those two horses in sanctuary director Tamara Brogoitti's care, he still has a tight budget and hundreds more horses to deal with.

Umatilla: Tribe to conduct Hanford research at new field station - Some 580 species of native plants grow on the Hanford nuclear reservation. But as land is restored after portions of environmental cleanup are completed, just eight species are replanted. Increasing the diversity of species used to replant hundreds of acres of land is one of the goals of the new field research station of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation that was dedicated Monday. The station is on tribal land east of Pendleton.

October 2012

Umatilla: Tribes hope to trim wild horse numbers - Officials of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Eastern Oregon hope to cut a population of 400 wild horses by three-quarters or more without slaughtering any. The horses graze as they please, resulting in ruined wheat crops, overgrazed rangeland, harm to other wild species and the occasional impregnated mare from a wild stallion, say tribal officials. But limited budgets and limited options for finding new homes will prove a challenge, Gordy Schumacher, the tribal agricultural and forestry manager, told the East Oregonian.

Umatilla: Native American fashion magazine launches online - Native Max focuses on indigenous people, places and cultures with the same sleek photography found in fashion magazines but without the stereotypical headdresses and tomahawks sometimes seen in the mainstream media. The premiere issue, which is online only, features interviews with Native American artists, musicians, designers and models, as well as sections on health, beauty and sports. The first issue of the quarterly magazine features Mariah Watchman as the cover model. Watchman, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation out of Oregon, catapulted to fame in Indian Country after becoming the first Native American woman to compete on “America’s Next Top Model.”

Umatilla: Bones found near Columbia River at least 300 years old - Native American ancestral remains found this summer along the riverbank at the south end of Columbia Point are believed to be more than 300 years old. The discovery of the human remains was among several issues discussed Thursday during a joint meeting of the Richland City Council and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Umatilla: Salmon back in business - After decades of collaboration between the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the state of Oregon and farmers, the salmon are coming back. First it was the spring chinook, then the coho salmon. Now, for the first time since the salmon disappeared in 1920, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to allow fishing in 2013 of adult fall chinook on the Umatilla River.

Umatilla: Tribe hosts tobacco cessation classes - Smokers who are ready to quit may attend a free series of classes offered by Wildhorse Resort & Casino and the Confederated Tribe of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Wellness Program. The Quit Tobacco classes, open to the public, are Oct. 2, 4, 9, 11, 16 and 18 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the McKay Room at Wildhorse Hotel.

September 2012

Umatilla: Head for Pendleton for cowboys, wool and a whole lot more - A half-dozen miles east of Pendleton is the 186,000-acre Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Wildhorse Resort and Casino ( Opened in 1995 and expanded four times since, it boasts a gaming facility with more than 1,400 slot machines, a concert hall that has hosted such performers as Bret Michaels and k.d. lang, a fine-dining restaurant and 24-hour cafe, a 300-room hotel and adjacent RV park, and one of the best golf courses in Eastern Oregon.

Umatilla: Tribes still working with Bank of America after withdrawing accounts - The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will continue doing business with the Bank of America after it finds a new bank for its major accounts. The Tribes decided to withdraw government accounts when the bank sent letters announcing to customers it would close its Pendleton office Nov. 30 and transfer all accounts to its Hermiston branch.

Umatilla: New headquarters for Umatilla National Forest - The headquarters of the Umatilla National Forest has finished its move to a new 15,400-square-foot location on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Roughly 60 permanent employees will work in the space, and there is additional room for those who might be working in the area on a temporary basis.

August 2012

Umatilla: Oregon secures $12M in federal transit grants - Seven Oregon transportation agencies will split more than $12 million in federal grants awarded by the U.S Department of Transportation last week. Secretary Ray LaHood announced $787 million in federal grants on July 30. The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation received $197,000 to construct a transit and fleet maintenance center.

July 2012

Umatilla: Chemical Depot turns lights off - The blue flag of the Umatilla Chemical Depot has flown for the last time. "End of an Era -- 1941 to 2012" said the sign over the main entrance to the depot Tuesday as workers, former workers, family members and community leaders drove onto the depot. They gathered for an Operations Lights Out ceremony marking deactivation of the site after 71 years of use by the Army, initially as a munitions and general supply storehouse and then the storage and eventual destruction of about 12 percent of the nation's stockpile of chemical weapons. The day was significant for the tribes, who have worked with other governments to get rid of risk, said Armand Minthorn of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. "By eliminating risk we've taken away the threat to the environment," he said.

Umatilla: Tribes opened powwow with honor and joy - The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation kicked off its 18th annual Wildhorse Powwow 7 p.m. Friday with celebration and remembrance. The Wildhorse Resort & Casino grounds were a city of food, merchandise and native craft vendors, parked cars, tents and teepees.

Umatilla: CUJ picks up five first place awards - This week the Native American Journalists Association announced their 2012 award winners. The Confederated Umatilla Journal won five awards in all, including first place in its division for best newspaper layout and first place for general excellence of a monthly publication.

Umatilla: Betting on jobs - Journal editorial-board member Paul O'Connor is once again driving cross-country this summer, writing on what he sees. The rest of the economy may be in the tank, but not gambling. In Pendleton, Ore., where the Umatilla Indian confederation runs a casino, things were jumping last Saturday afternoon. Tribal members were working throughout; revenue from the casino has built one of the best Native American museums in the country and helped the tribe finance other economic development, too.

Umatilla: Minthorn takes aim at state Senate - Antone Minthorn built a career as leader of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on two key principles: have a purpose to help your community and never give up. He now aims to take those principles to the Oregon Senate. Minthorn, 77, former chairman of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, won the Democratic nomination for Senate District 29.

June 2012

Umatilla: Shoni Schimmel visits White House to speak on panel celebrating Title IX - Shoni Schimmel, a former standout Oregon high school athlete, attended a 40th anniversary celebration of Title IX at the White House on Wednesday where she spoke on a panel about the 1972 amendment that banned discrimination against women on athletic fields and in the classroom.

Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama: Celilo Salmon Feast Is More Vibrant Than Ever, Despite Flood - An 18-minute black-and-white film, “The Last Salmon Feast of the Celilo Indians,” was produced by the Oregon Historical Society in the late 1950s to document the final fish ceremony conducted before the opening of a new dam flooded the ancient fishing grounds known as Celilo Falls. However, the strength and perseverance of the tribal leaders did not stop after that day’s ceremony and the annual Celilo Salmon Feast is still being held. The falls were silenced, but the tradition and culture of the river people remains vibrant. This year, the three-day feast attracted more than 500 tribal and nontribal people.

Umatilla: Logging increase critical - A collaborative effort is underway to bolster Northeast Oregon’s wood products industry by allowing more timber harvesting and that effort must succeed if our regional economy is to rebound and prosper. Since last year, representatives from county governments, Native American tribes, the wood products industry, environmental and conservation groups, and others have been meeting to work out differences that might otherwise hold up work on timber projects on the Umatilla National Forest. Comment: Commerce is critical to cultural renewal. Most members of my tribe live more than 100 miles from our nearest tribal center. They live where the jobs are. Commerce means jobs and revenue for cultural programs.

Umatilla: Subs still waiting on payments for Pendleton casino work - The clock is ticking for Dieter Konnegen, president of Future Tech Inc., a White City electrical contractor. A a dispute between the project’s general contractor, JE Dunn Construction, and another contractor, Portland-based Wright Hotel Development, is blocking millions of dollars in payments. Because the project is on tribal land, subcontractors have no lien rights and therefore no recourse. And Konnegen said Future Tech is just one of a dozen subcontractors in the same sinking boat.

Umatilla: Chief injured by horse in Treaty Day horse mishap - Jesse Jones, a ceremonial chief for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, was injured Wednesday when a horse fell on top of him during Treaty Day celebrations, a tribal spokeswoman said. The horse fell sideways on top of Jones around 3 p.m. after a parade, according to CTUIR deputy executive director Debra Croswell. She said the horse landed on the right side of Jones’ face and near his shoulder and neck area as it tried regain its balance. She said she didn’t know what caused the incident.

Umatilla: Tribes plan Treaty events - In recognition of the 1855 Treaty, a parade, ceremony at the Warriors Memorial, afternoon meal and games are all part of the planned activities of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The event begins with a parade line-up Wednesday at 1 p.m.

May 2012

Umatilla: Glitches few in move to new forest HQ in Mission - Boxes clutter hallways, and not all the bugs are out of the phone system, but the Umatilla National Forest is up and running at its new headquarters on the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Umatilla: Wildhorse Foundation awards grant funding - The Wildhorse Foundation, a community benefit fund established by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation as a result of its gaming operation, hosted its annual Recipients Luncheon May 9 at Wildhorse Resort and Casino. Following the lunch, the Foundation Board consisting of Chairman Allman, Vice Chairman Phillip Houk, Secretary/Treasurer Bill Hansell, Rosenda Shippentower and Kathleen Peterson discussed the 2012 first quarter grant applicants. A total $221,335 was awarded to 42 organizations; bringing the total since the Foundation began in 2001 to well over $5.9 million.

Nez Perce-Umatilla-Warm Springs-Yakama: Treaty tribes dedicate final replacement fishing site - On April 25, 2012, representatives from four tribes, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Army Corps of Engineers all stood by the Columbia River to mark the end of a construction project both useful and symbolic. It was the completion of the 31st -- and final -- fishing access site on the river, giving tribes the ability to use their traditional fishing grounds and village sites, which they had lost access to due to dams on the river.

Umatilla: Info on dead man’s last days sought by tribal police - Umatilla Tribal Police are reaching out to the public to help find information about what led up to the death of Orval Kipp. A resident of the Umatilla Indian Reservation found the body of Kipp, 56, Sunday morning in the Umatilla River near Highway 331 bridge on the reservation.

Umatilla: National Forest office moves to new location - Starting Monday, the Umatilla National Forest headquarters will be in a new location. The office is moving to a new building at 72510 Coyote Road on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Forest Supervisor Kevin Martin said in a release.

Umatilla: Clover Island in Kennewick getting new art - Bronze sculptures of two members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation gathering tule reeds will join the other artwork on Kennewick's Clover Island.

Umatilla: Mariah Watchman: Native Supermodel in the Making - Since her appearance on Tyra Banks’ show America’s Next Top Model, Mariah Watchman has become a household name and inspiration for Native women throughout Indian country. Watchman grew up in a variety of locations, but counts the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation as her home.

March 2012

Umatilla: Walla Walla tribe, Port of Kennewick show mutual respect - A buffalo hide drum bearing a painted portrait of Walla Walla Chief Yellow Bird was presented to Port of Kennewick officials Tuesday as a symbol of friendship and cooperation. Carl Sampson of the Walla Walla tribe, which is part of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, painted the two-foot diameter drum with a likeness of the 19th century chief as a gift.

Umatilla: Tribe Hopes To Restore Hanford's Natural Plants - The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) have recently built two high-tech greenhouses and a field experiment station to cultivate plants native to the area around Hanford. The facilities will allow them to do research and sprout seeds to revegetate formerly contaminated areas, like the Hanford Site and the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Oregon.

Umatilla: Possible plans to launch a hatchery spring chinook program in the Touchet River - State Fish and Wildlife and tribal fish managers are deciding on bringing hatchery spring chinook to the Touchet River. That proposal to reintroduce hatchery spring chinook salmon and possible future salmon fisheries to the Touchet River are the topic of a 7 p.m. March 15 public meeting at the Seneca Labor Camp Activities Building on Green Giant Camp Road, east of the Highway 12 overpass at the east end of Dayton. State Fish and Wildlife and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will take questions and comments.

Umatilla-Warm Springs-Yakama: Horse slaughter plant planned for eastern Oregon after change in national rules - A horse slaughter and processing plant -- which could be among the first in the country in five years -- may open in Hermiston within a year. Private investors and Northwest tribes are likely to underwrite the proposed 20,000-square-foot operation that would employ 100 people and slaughter 25,000 horses a year, Duquette said. No Northwest tribal councils have signed off on the project yet, but the tribes are bowed by crushing numbers of ownerless horses on the reservations. Examples: An estimated 6,000 horses roam the 640,000-acre Warm Springs Indian Reservation near Madras; up to 15,000 horses range across the 1.4 million-acre Yakama Indian Reservation in central Washington and 350 horses roam the 178,000-acre Umatilla Indian Reservation near Pendleton.

Umatilla: Reservation a power in local economy - Les Minthorn started working in the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation government in the 1970s. Since then the reservation has grown, like a spider building its web, to become one of the largest employers in Umatilla County.

Umatilla: DQ locating at new Reservation retail center on 331 - Dairy Queen is coming to a small retail center under construction on Highway 331 in the Coyote Business Park of the Combined Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

February 2012

Umatilla: Pendleton resident Mariah Watchman competes on 'America's Next Top Model' - For one of her first competitions in the new cycle of "America's Next Top Model," former Pendleton resident Mariah Watchman, who grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, had to don the costume of an American icon. Producers chose for her to portray Pocahontas. Watchman's future plans include launching her own clothing line (called N8TV) and visiting Indian reservations to participate in youth leadership workshops.

Umatilla: Police arrest Mission couple on drug charges - Umatilla Tribal Police arrested a wife and husband Saturday in Mission on multiple felony drug-related charges, Police Chief Tim Addleman said. Lillian Elizabeth Nomee, 48, and William Anthony Surface, 45, have been charged with one count each of criminal activity in drugs, dangerous drugs and criminal drug possession under laws of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The couple are in the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton.

Umatilla: Four named to Umatilla County wolf committee - The Umatilla County commissioners created a Wolf Depredation Advisory Committee and named four members Thursday, the first step in compensating ranchers who may lose livestock to preying wolves. Appointed were Helix rancher Ryan Raymond, president of the Umatilla County Cattlemen’s Association, Hermiston veterinarian Dr. Tom Pitzer, County Commission Chairman Larry Givens and Carl Scheeler, wildlife program manager for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Department of Natural Resources. A fifth slot remains open.

Umatilla: Tribes say no to large wind farms - Decision makers, including the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s Board of Trustees, have said "no" to wind farms on tribal land.

Umatilla: Oregon research station to help restore Hanford land to natural state - A new research station will be melding traditional tribal knowledge with Western science to help restore hundreds of acres of Hanford land to its natural state. The field station in Mission, Ore., about five miles east of Pendleton, features two geodesic dome research greenhouses and is the result of a collaboration of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Department of Energy.

January 2012

Umatilla: Cayuse Technology to hire 300th employee Monday - When it hires its next group of 25 employees, Cayuse Technologies’ work force will pass the 300 mark, the company announced last week. The company, owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation with headquarters on the reservation, started in 2006.

Umatilla: American Indians Offer Programs for Horses That Treat the Sacred Animals as a Way of Life - On November 18, President Obama approved the lifting of a congressional ban on domestic horsemeat inspections. In doing so, he raised the possibility that horses could be legally slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. for the first time in years. But in Indian country, there is little that is viewed as humane about horse butchering. Indeed, so keenly felt are Native views on horses that they raise important questions of long-term relationships with animals who remain indispensable to the Indian way of life. Witness the efforts of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, which has a representative on the Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition. The Umatillas are using adoption and auction to reduce a herd of 307 to 100 on 147,000 acres. They are also researching youth programs and a partnership with a local community college. The tribe uses the PZP vaccine to prevent reproduction. Still, manager Gordy Schumacher of the Department of Natural Resources’ Range, Ag & Forestry Program acknowledges that he will probably have to find homes for 50 horses every year.

Umatilla: Tribes only want wolves that are self-directed - Wolves have a special place in American Indian culture, including the tribes on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, said Bobbie Conner, director of Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. The CTUIR has a wolf policy, but not a wolf plan. Its policy reflects how the CTUIR wildlife commission has worked closely with state and federal parties on the wolf issue. In a nutshell, the policy states the tribes support wolves moving into Oregon and tribal lands on their own rather than being reintroduced.

Umatilla: EO Forum features tribal member - Bobbie Conner of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will make a presentation at the upcoming East Oregonian Forum. Conner will speak on the topic of "Native American Pre- and Post- Contact Cultural Issues" during the Tuesday, Jan. 10, event at Blue Mountain Community College. The EO Forum will take place in Room ST-200 at 2411 N.W. Carden Ave., Pendleton.

Umatilla: For Some Tribes, New Year's Foods Provide A Sacred Link To The Past - Around the world last night, revelers marked the start of the new year. But in the Northwest corner of the U.S., some Native American tribes began their celebrations early. On Dec. 20, just before the winter solstice, tribes in Eastern Oregon held a ceremony called kimtee inmewit, a welcoming of the new foods. "This goes back to when the world was new. The first food that was created was the salmon — we call it nusux," says Armand Minthorn, the spiritual leader of the tribes that live on the Umatilla Reservation, on the dry side of Oregon.

December 2011

Umatilla: Port of Kennewick seeks artist for project - The Port of Kennewick is seeking an artist, or team of artists, to create the fourth phase in a series of art elements as part of an improvement plan for Clover Island. The project will be a traditional outdoor sculpture honoring the tribal culture of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, which used the area as a winter camp decades ago.

Umatilla: Tribes formulate wolf policy - Like the state and federal governments, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is preparing for the return of wolves to the Eastern Oregon landscape. The confederated tribes have a wolf policy, but not a wolf plan. Its policy reflects how its wildlife commission has worked closely with state and federal parties on the wolf issue. In a nutshell, the policy states the tribes support wolves moving into Oregon and tribal lands on their own rather than being reintroduced.

Umatilla: Tribes welcome wolves back as important part of culture - Like the state and federal governments, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is preparing for the return of wolves to Eastern Oregon. Wolves have a special place in American Indian culture, including the tribes on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, said Bobbie Conner, director of Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.

Umatilla: Winter Solstice Is The New Year For Some Northwest Native Americans - In the Northwest, some Native Americans celebrate New Year earlier than the rest of the Western world. In fact, tribal new year is tomorrow night, December 20. The Umatilla tribes of eastern Oregon hold their ceremony just before the winter solstice.

Umatilla: Because UofL Women's basketball is the best bargain in town - The women provide far more than $8 worth of entertainment — not to mention lots of story lines. Start with the ball-handling skills of sophomore guard Shoni Schimmel. A member of the Umatilla tribe in Oregon, Shoni is the subject of the documentary Off the Rez. This season, her sister Jude — three inches shorter but as fierce as Shoni is wily — joins the team.

Umatilla: Schimmels shine, and Louisville pulls away from Pilots - It might as well have been a home game for Louisville, which improved to 10-2. Most of the 3,211 people in attendance were pro-Cardinals. Hundreds of Native Americans from the Umatilla Indian Reservation – where Shoni and Jude grew up – made the drive from Mission to Portland.

Umatilla: Bill would return control of chemical depot to locals - Communities near a former Army chemical weapons depot in Eastern Oregon would regain the right to develop the property under a bill making its way through Congress. Officials from Umatilla and Morrow counties, two Eastern Oregon ports and the Tribes were on the committee that developed the final plan that would give 7,400 acres to the National Guard for training and storage, and about 5,600 acres would become a refuge to protect sage-steppe habitat.

Umatilla: Depot Closure Plans Might Soon Be Back In the Hands Of Locals - A congressional rescue looks like it will put plans to repurpose the Umatilla Chemical Depot back on track. All the chemical weapons at the 20,000 acre Army post in northeast Oregon have been destroyed.

Umatilla: Mid-Columbia agencies win Wildhorse grants - This year, the community benefit fund established by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation has awarded about $570,000.

Umatilla: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Bows Out Of Depot Plan - Tribe had worked closely with the service to ensure the land be set aside to benefit sensitive species.

Umatilla-Yakama: Elk Hunt On Hanford Reach Controversial With Tribes

November 2011

Umatilla: Tribal court has official independent status

Umatilla: U. of Louisville Basketball Star Shoni Schimmel Returns From Two Game Suspension

Umatilla: Dam On Umatilla May Be On The Way Out

Umatilla: Most trustees on CTUIR board keep their seats

Colville-Umatilla: Seeking: Ric Gendron’s lost paintings

Umatilla: Native Eyes Film Showcase

Umatilla: Expressions of gratitude in Milton-Freewater for American military on Veterans Day

Umatilla: 'People were complex 12,000 years ago'

Umatilla: Northwest natives were fishers, not hunter-gatherers

Umatilla: Gorge commission faces a daunting transition

Umatilla: AV Concepts Impresses Thousands with Projection Mapping for Wildhorse Resort & Casino

Umatilla: Names Board To Consider Requests To Change The Name

October 2011

Protesters' voice heard at forum

State Board Looks to Replace More 'Squaw' Names

Debate on jobs heats up tribal forum

Protesters camp outside tribal building

One man’s vision saved by another's

Ceremony commemorates tribal leader Dick

A wreath in remembrance

Ecotrust ceremony to recognize tribal leaders

Indian War Veterans: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898: The decades-long military campaign for the American West is an endlessly fascinating topic, and award-winning author Jerome A. Greene's study presents the first comprehensive collection of veteran (primarily former enlisted soldiers') reminiscences. The vast majority of these writings have never before seen wide circulation.

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