August 7, 2014


Today we met with Education Specialist Jimbo Seyler who gave us a PowerPoint presentation about the Spokane Indian history. Mr. Seyler  showed us a picture of a pit house which was used for winter lodging and that there was pits on the reservation which they estimated was approximately 130 years or older. Jimbo also explained to us that they used tule mat longhouses. He showed us an awesome stone oven that the local people used to cook. It made me upset to hear that other tribal people told the Spokane people that they were not fisherman especially knowing that the big Columbia River runs right next to their reservation. Jimbo had some great photos of what they called a fish weir which is what they built across the river system for fishing.

We also had the opportunity to meet the Department of Natural Resources Director Billy Keifer who informed us that the Spokane Indians were not a treaty tribe and were a Executive Order Tribe due to their bands of Indians who were busy fishing to survive their winter season while the Treaty of 1855 was being signed in Walla Walla, WA. Mr. Keifer informed us that their Tribal Ancestors were invited to attend the signing of the treaty of 1855 but did not show up because they were gathering their foods for the winter. Mr. Keifer explained that they are attempting to bring back the salmon above the Grand Coulee Dam, one of the ways they are attempting to do so is a video on which is called Voyages of the Rediscovery”. We also got to see a video that their interns put together about what message would you elders give to the children of their tribal community. Most of the Elders suggested to continue getting an education as well as, don’t waste your time on drugs and alcohol, there were other messages but these are the two most used suggestions.

In The afternoon we had an explanation of how their forestry works to preserve their trees as well as how the Wild life program preserves their big game. The Spokane Indians do not let anyone cut down their aspen trees. for the Wild Life Program we went to a ranch that the tribe had repurchased and they restored the lands back to its natural habitat. We had the opportunity to see three different traps used for three different animals. They had a trap for the deer, another trap for elk, and one for catching bears. The reason they catch deer and elk is to place collars around their necks to keep track of the animals. The reason they were catching bears is to relocate them away from homes so that no one gets hurt or attacked.


August 6, 2014

We made it to Wellpinit, WA we met with Warren who will be our host during our stay here, we were set up to meet with people who work at the Department of Natural Resources.

Edward Mately is a Wild Life Tech and explained to us that today is an important day for their tribe because they were drawing names for their big game such as deer, elk, moose, etc. He explained to us that their bear season is year round. They also perform other duties such as helping farmers keep the wild game off of their farm lands, build and repair fences, and weed control. They are currently doing a study on the wolf packs that migrate to and from the reservation and they have to work with the state to continue to keep track of the wolves that leave the reservation.

Bill Matt an Environmental Officer, informed us that the tribe is currently working on bringing back the salmon over the Grand Coulee Dam because their people have lost the salmon when the dams were built. Bill also regulates the water sheds to ensure that hazardous materials are not dumped or spilled during construction process.

Wild Life Manager, Chad McCray informed us that he ensures that requirements are met for the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other acts. Mr. McCray also determines the hunting season from the population estimates of each species of game they hunt as well as determine how many tags will be drawn. There are approximately 2800 enrolled members, there were approximately 300 enrolled members who applied for the tags and there will only be about 70 tags drawn. Mr. McCray also informed us that the Spokane Tribe is not a Treaty Tribe, and they are an Executive Order Tribe, which means they do not have the same rights as other tribes.

August 4, 2014

We went to the Umatilla Tribal Museum at approximately 11:45 a.m. and it was my first time in their museum. The one thing I did not think of while visiting museums was the fact that I would see familiar faces and I had the opportunity to see the beautiful smile of my late aunty which made me break down from seeing my family so happy and proud of their traditions. While I was walking through the museum I was noticing the quotes on almost every poster of information, so I documented the ones that described our people best.

Village: “Nearly every month of the year they change their place of residence but the same month of every year finds them regularly in the same place” Horatio Hale 1846.

Singing One’s Spirits song: “Be kind to them and you will reproduce by doing so… you will be respected because you have given them your spirit because you have given them you spirit and power” Tspilyay (coyote).

The Cayuse War: “Did not your missionaries teach us that Christ died to save his people? So die we to save our people.” Tiloukaikt 1850.

The leaders: “As long as we are diligent in protecting our treaty rights and interest, we will survive and prosper.” Hineeqis Kaa awn.

“As Indian people we must never forger who we are.”

“We will never fade.”

Later in the evening we went to the agency to listen to Winex Red Elk’s presentation. Winex is the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Umatilla Tribe. Winex’s job duties include protecting, restoring, and enhacing their first foods. She also assists other tribal employees with her historical knowledge.

Day 7

We arrived to Pendleton Oregon the previous evening to stay at the Red Elk residence, while there we were assigned to complete a glass plate project. Levida Red Elk had a lot of beautiful glass art work that she had designed as well as her family. Levida is a tribal elder of the Umatilla reservation. I did not have the opportunity to take any pictures of my project that I have designed but I will try to post one if I remember to when I receive it. I tried really hard to pay attention to the science of the glass art work but I got a little confused. I am very thankful for Levida sharing her knowledge with our group and for supplying us with the materials to complete our project.

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we were able to do some art work similar to these but not quite as fancy and beautiful.


starting to lose track of what day it is


We arrived at our location within the Deschutes National Forrest at approximately 10 a.m. where we met with Restoration Ecologist Colin McGuigan who stated that a part of his job duties is mechanical medigation of fuels funding of this comes from the congress and that funding determines how much medigation can be performed. Colin educated us on the Base line monitoring procedures, which is down woody measuring

Less than 1/4 inch = 1 hour fuel

1/4 inch to 1 inch = 10 hour fuel

1 inch to 3 inches = 100 hour fuel

3 inches and great = 1000 hour fuel

the hours are approximately how long it takes for that size of wood to dry.

Here are some other photos from DNF.

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Day 4

The previous night we arrived to the Deschutes National Forest and approximately 10 a.m. we met with Fisheries Biologist Tom Walker. Mr. Walker showed us a map of Tumalo Creek area that had a trail which is in the process of being restored. Our volunteer work for the day was helping pull spotted nap weeds and small lodge pole trees within the area of the trail. We had a small competition of who could pull the most lodge pole pine trees.

After lunch we had the opportunity to visit the tumalo falls and hike the trail to the top of the falls. Today we were able to be outside enjoying the natural beauty.

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Day 3


well so far it has been early morning starts but I’m hanging in there. We arrived at the Warm Springs Museum at approximately 9 a.m. and did a (what felt like a) quick tour. I really enjoyed their museum because I seen my Tilla on one of their vidoes. as well as, one of my aunts, who I also got to visit. I loved how the Warm Springs Museum explained how our people lived and described how we performed our ceremonies. While we were at the Warm Springs Museum we had the opportunity to listen to an elder explain how our culture is slowly changing and is not the same way it used to be when she was a young girl. In the previous sentence when I stated “our culture” I’ve seen that the Yakama’s is slowly changing in the same way as the Warm Springs the same way Arleta Rhon had explained. Arleta also explained how our natural environments are being disturbed by cattle and new building sites. What I do not like about these disturbances is that people do not realize the sacred lands they are utilizing have supported our people for hundreds and thousands of years. I feel that our tribes need to do a better job protecting our lands and the animals within so that our traditions could live on for our children and our children’s children and many generations beyond just as our elders have done for me many generations ago. I am hoping that my education and the continuous learning will be able to help not only my children but all of our youth keep our traditions alive. Arleta just like my grandmother also encouraged to get an education.

Day 1 and 2

Looking back on my notes… yesterday on our way to Warm Springs we stopped at the Horsethief Lake to view the ancient petroglyphs and it was too hot for me to remember to take pictures,

I am currently unable to upload any pictures of day 2 but today we(2014 people of the big river field class) were in Warm Springs, OR with the Range and Agriculture crew who introduced themselves as Jason Smith Agriculture Director and Joel Florendo wild horses Riding Supervisor who gave us a description of their job duties. Jason Informed us that the wild horses were one of many tasks that he handles, and had Joel give us a tour of his job duties. I learned about their rising population of wild horses. I also got to witness the wild horse crew perform their job duties, when they rode into the hills on their horses to chase a heard of horses down into their corral, and load the wild horses into trailers to transport them to different corrals where the wild horse crew will show us more of how they perform their job duties. After a long day in the hot weather we went back to the camp ground where we are staying to go swimming to cool off.

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