By Duran Bobb
Along West Hills Drive, you can see them: Stacks of discarded tires, metal debris, garbage bags filled and tied and ready for pick-up The streets are clean again.
By Bruce Engle
Many reservations don’t have a business sector with shops and services similar to what off-reservation towns of the same population have.
Miss WS history
By Duran Bobb
In 1969, “Hooked on a Feeling” by BJ Thomas peaked at number 5 on the charts. The Beatles performed their last gig as a group, free. And Dorothy George was crowned MWS.
By Marsha Spellman
Why is it taking so long? Now that we are on the brink of having our own tribal telephone company, it seems like it is taking forever to get service.
By Bruce Engle
Question — How do personal finance and business finance relate?
Fort Mojave provides good example
By Marcia Soliz
Laura Switzlerand I recently visited the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in California.
Want to start a new business–in a recession?
By Bruce Engle
Don’t—unless you know that business inside-out and have been successful in business before!
By Duran Bobb
From Beebe, Arkansa to Brazil to New Zealand––groups of sometimes thousands of dead animals are being found.
Dec. 29, 2010
Credit card thieves using new technology
By Bruce Engle
If your credit card is in your wallet or purse, can your account information be stolen without the wallet or purse being stolen?
By Duran Bobb
Last week, the Portland offices of the FBI came to the reservation with an offering in the holiday spirit.
Dec. 15, 2010
To moms and pops, from me to you at Christmas time
By Bruce Engle
You are constantly exposed to a hazardous condition—“Spenditis.”
How to use
Sacred and Living
By Duran Bobb
Recently, human bones found on the bank of a river in Washington’s Benton County were returned to a group of tribal governments–one of which was Warm Springs.
Dec. 1, 2010
By Duran Bobb
‘Tis the season! Black Friday has come and gone, no news yet on who was trampled in the dash for a bargain.
Nov. 17, 2010
Johnson Joins Tribal Youth Program
Itukdi wigwa naika itgulxam! Good day my people! My name is Radine Johnson aka “Deanie.” The Tribal Youth Program is my new place of employment so I’d like to share with you my job duties:
By Duran Bobb
Towards the beginning of November, it starts... you can read about Squanto and Governor William Bradford, 1621 and Abe Lincoln. Pilgrims and Puritans. Religious freedom and winter starvation.
Tribal Council seeks to fill board vacancies
The Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs would like to advertise the following:
Kah-Nee-Ta High Desert Resort & Casino Board of Directors
Warm Springs Composite Products Board of Directors
Send letters of interest and resumes by no later than Dec. 8 to:
Authorization letter will be mailed to all applicants for a criminal background and credit check to be completed by the Warm Springs Police Department and Kroll agency; report will be submitted confidentially to the secretary-treasurer.
Current tribal committees, boards and organizations
The following individuals are serving, by Tribal Council appointment, on the listed boards, committees and other organizations:
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians: Stanley Buck Smith Jr., voting delegate; Ron Suppah, alternate.
Celilo Wy-Am Board: Ron Suppah; Reuben Henry, alternate.
Commission on Indian Services: Raymond Tsumpti Sr.
Credit Enterprise Board: Sytje Williams, Sandra Greene, Evaline Patt, Greta White Elk, Sylvester Sahme Sr.
Culture and Heritage Committee.
Education Committee: Laurie Danzuka, Margie Tuckta, Francelia Miller, Martha Winishut; alternate, Reina Estimo.
Election and Counting Board: Arlita Rhoan (counting chair), Beulah Tsumpti (overall chair/election); Bernie Greene-Boise (counter), Shirley Sanders (election board), Leah Henry (counter), Neda Wesley (election board), Violetta Vaeth(counter); alternates, William Rhoan, Floyd Calica, Antoinette Pamperien.
Executive Management Committee: Secretary-treasurer Charles Calica; tribal member Joe Moses; structural technology, Terry Turner.
Fish and Wildlife Committee: Rafael Queahpama, Donnie Winishut Sr., Bruce Jim, Emerson Squiemphen, Leslie Bill, Ryan Smith Sr. Alternate: Terry Courtney Jr.
Gaming Strategy Team: Tribal Council chair, vice-chair, Wasco Chief, Warm Springs Chief, Paiute Chief, secretary-treasurer, Gaming Enterprise Board chair, Cascade Locks casino executive project manager, Cascade Locks project construction manager, tribal attorneys, Washington, D.C. representative and other political advisors, and such other tribal and enterprise staff and consultants as may be appropriate.
Health and Welfare Committee: Urbana Manion, Janice Clements, Earlynne Squiemphen, Martha Winishut. Alternate, Sal Sahme.
Intertribal Agriculture Council: Stanley Buck Smith, voting delegate; Eugene Greene Jr., alternate.
Intertribal Timber Council: Delvis Heath Sr., Delegate; and Eugene Greene Jr. as alternate.
Kah-Nee-Ta High Desert Casino Board of Directors:
Land Use Planning Committee: Erland Suppah, Jimmy Tohet Sr., Lyle Katchia, Evaline Patt. Alternate, Rafael Queahpama.
National Congress of American Indians: Ron Suppah, voting delegate; Joseph Moses, alternate.
National Indian Gaming Association: Scott Moses, voting delegate; Olney Patt Jr., alternate.
Pension Plan Advisory Committee: Councilman Ron Suppah, s-t Charles Calica, Ralph Minnick of WSFPI, Urbana Ross, Chuck Schmidt, Kah-Nee-Ta rep.
Range Committee: Evans Spino Sr., Grant Clements Sr., Sharlayne Garcia, Delford Johnson. Alternate: Bertson Simtustus.
Timber Committee: Ellison David Sr., Grant Clements Sr., John Katchia Sr., Levi Vanpelt. Alternate: Robert Smith.
Warm Springs Composite Products Board of Directors: Jefferson Greene, Joseph Moses, Richard Craig, Robert Macy Sr., Mavis Shaw.
Warm Springs Forest Products Industries Board of Directors:
Warm Springs Gaming Commission:
Museum at Warm Springs Accesssions Committee: Maxine Switzler, Gerald Jim, Amelia Colwash, Janice Clements.
Museum at Warm Springs Board of Directors: Suzi Slockish, Roberta Kirk, Victor Atiyeh, Kenneth Smith, Stephen Anderson, Olney Patt Jr., Jim Manion, Doug Goe, Patricia Creelman.
Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprises:
Warm Springs Tribal Court judges:
Warm Springs Appellate judges:
Warm Springs Workers Compensation Committee:
Wasco Electric Cooperative board:
Nov. 3, 2010
By Duran Bobb
The tribes recently learned of a shortfall in the WSPWE divident payment for the 2011 budget, now projected to be 6.5 million dollars less than what was expected.
October 20, 2010
By Duran Bobb
I remember 1977. The Halloween Carnival was the only place to be after trick-or-treating.
46 observations toward a successful business
By Lori Fuentes
Thinking about going into business, or are you already in business but having difficulties?
Sept. 22, 2010
Words of comfort
The recent tragedy has touched every heart on the resevation. In a time of such sorrow, many were brought together in prayer.
When we lose people on our reservation, it’s a time for us to stick together.
Legal aid explains 4 kinds of bail, bond agreements
Legal advisory for Warm Springs
In the debut Legal Advisory of Warm Springs (LAWS) column we discussed in summary the entire court process.
Over the next five columns we plan on discussing the last five steps in greater detail, beginning with step two: "Bail and Bonds."
We decided to bypass step one, the "Incident," because it does not include a court hearing of any sort.
Bail or bond is a release agreement between the court and the defendant that is meant to ensure that defendant will appear in court for his or her next scheduled court date.
There are four types of bail/bond releases granted by our Tribal Court and they are:
Own recognizance bond, signature bond, cash bail, no bail-no bond.
An "Own Recognizance Bond" or "OR" release is when the court agrees to release the defendant on their "own recognizance."
When somebody is granted an OR bond, he or she will get out of jail on that day without the need of posting any kind of bail.
A signature bond is when a cash bail is imposed but defendant can find "two reliable adult members of the Confederated Tribes" (over the age of 18) to sign a bond agreement, where they agree to pay the imposed cash bail if that defendant violates any of the terms of their release (discussed later).
A cash bail only release is when the court requires the defendant to post a cash bail in order to be released before their next scheduled court date. If they do not or cannot post the bail amount, they will have to sit in jail until their next scheduled court appearance.
A no bail-no bond hold can be imposed under five special circumstances outlined by tribal code 202.320, "No Bail." Summarized, those conditions include:
1) Defendant is charged with a crime of violence and has been convicted of another crime of violence within a one year period.
2) Defendant is charged with obstructing justice because he or she threatened, injured or intimidated a witness or attempted to do so.
3) Defendant has demonstrated suicidal or destructive character. Evidence of such activity is required.
4) There is a strong likelihood of flight before trial. This requires a documented history of flight (like an escape charge).
5) Defendant represents a danger to the community.
At this hearing the judge may also impose special terms of their release.
Common special terms of release includes no new charges, no alcohol consumption or "detoxes," and when a victim is involved, no contact/no threatening or violent contact with the victim.
If the defendant violates any of these terms of release or fails to appear for their next scheduled court date, they may be found in contempt, and a hearing will be held to revisit their release agreement.
If the person is found guilty of the contempt of court–failure to comply with bail agreement (CC–FTC–BA), then his or her bail or bond may be revoked and forfeited (if cash bail), and reset at the same or higher amount.
Double bail, found in tribal code 202.310, can be imposed if the defendant meets one of three categories:
1) He or she is on probation at the time the offense is committed.
2) He or she is awaiting trial for another offense.
3) He or she has a record of repeat offenses in the past 12 months.
The release agreement, be it bail or bond, is determined by the presiding judge on the day of the hearing.
The tribal prosecutor comes to court with recommendations and Legal Aid can either concur with those recommendations or argue for recommendations of their own but the final decision is up to the judge. The judge can go with recommendations, or go higher or lower than the recommendations.
There is a bail schedule which outlines what the maximum bail per charge may be.
The maximum bail is determined by the severity of the charge and ranges all the way up to $5,000.
Those bails can run consecutive as well, so the more charges a person has, the higher bail it is possible to impose, but the maximum bail per charge is $5,000.
That concludes the bail/bond hearing information but one other important fact regarding bail is that if a person is unable to post bail, he or she will not be eligible for furloughs, work release or passes while in custody.
If you have any questions regarding the bail/bonds, tribal code can be found at the tribe’s website or feel free to visit the Legal Aid Office or call us at 541-553-2411.
Head Start staff working to ensure continued service
The Head Start staff is working hard to ensure that classrooms will be opened as soon as possible.
The Head Start program is experiencing some internal transition issues that need to be resolved in order to ensure that students and families receive quality services.
The Head Start staff would like to apologize to the children and families that are negatively impacted by the current situation, as the staff understand the importance of having your child in Head Start.
The Head Start staff will continue to provide ongoing support to families during the transition.
The staff wishes to thank you for your continued dedication and commitment to your child’s education in order to provide them a Head Start.
Proposed tribal supplemental budget, 2010-11
Based on the Economic Stewardship Plan approved by Tribal Council in July, this supplemental budget supports economic development generating additional Tribal income and creates new jobs.
Supplemental budget provides loan/equity funds to expand and/or start new enterprises
Supplemental budget also provides funds for increasing capacity for:
Tribal member small business development and support:
Additional funding for small business loans; and
Small business education and mentoring.
Training and development of Tribal workforce to meet workforce needs of enterprises.
Planning and grant development of physical infrastructure—sewer, power, water, and zoning.
Requires Secretary-Treasurer and enterprise CEOs to develop policies and procedures for expenditure of funds for presentation and approval by Tribal Council.
Public hearings will be held in September and October to get feedback from the membership regarding both the supplemental budget and the 2011 annual budget.
Questions and Answers
Why is the supplemental budget important?
The supplemental budget begins the first step that focuses renewed effort on improving the Warm Springs economy. Economic development is the highest priority of the 25th Council.
It is critical that the economic climate at Warm Springs be reenergized to meet two current challenges:
Extremely high Tribal member unemployment; currently between 55-65%.
The serious need for Tribal income to run Tribal government; the projected shortfall in the 2011 budget is $9-$10.5 million
Where did the request for $2,000,000 come from?
During the last two years the Economic Stewardship project has developed through many conversations with Tribal members, Tribal Council, Tribal government, Tribal Enterprise managers and economic development organizations both on and off the reservation a process to improve the economic climate in Warm Springs. The Tribal Council approved the Economic Stewardship Plan (which includes the establishment of the Business Investment Revolving Fund) in their July workshop.
The Stewardship Plan calls for the creation of two teams critical to mobilize strategies - the Capacity Team is responsible for coordinating staff supporting infrastructure, communication, and business support, and the Business Investment Revolving Fund Team (BIRF), is responsible for leading business investment strategies and decisions. Together, these two teams created a request for $10 million to reenergize and create a vibrant Warm Springs Economy. To kick start the process the 25th Tribal Council is proposing the $2 million supplemental budget. The remaining request will be built within the 2011 Tribal budget and together will create a $10 million revolving loan fund / equity fund.
Who is part of the Capacity Team?
The Capacity Team is made up of lead staff from the Workforce Development Department, Planning Department, Warm Springs Community Action Team, Ventures (to be renamed the Enterprise Development Corporation), the Economic Stewardship Coordinator and Secretary/Treasurer.
Workforce Development leads strategies that build workforce skills for current and future Tribal Enterprises.
Planning Department leads the development of physical infrastructure, zoning and gaining outside funding/grants for development.
Warm Springs Community Action Team leads development of Tribal member small business skills and creation and management of a loan fund.
Ventures leads work on emerging Tribal Enterprises such as the new Telco Company.
The Economic Stewardship Coordinator will provide overall coordination of economic development out of the Secretary-Treasurer’s Office.
Who is part of the Business Investment Revolving Fund Team?
All the Tribal Enterprise General Managers/CEO’s.
Where does the $2 million come from?
The source of the $2 million is earnings from tribal investments that have been previously designated under a 2008 supplemental budget which remain unspent at this time, and reserve funds generated from proceeds of sale within the Warm Springs Housing Authority. Any additional deposits into the Business Investment Revolving Fund (BIRF) will be from other sources which will be outlined during the annual budget process later this year.
Is there a project that could be funded?
Approved by Tribal Council (Resolution 10,742) WS Composite Products is in the process of building a 50,000 sq. ft. building to expand its operations and provide additional space for other enterprises. A portion of the building costs could come from the Business Investment Revolving Loan Fund.
Supplemental budget message
Since taking office, the Twenty-Fifth Tribal Council has made it a priority to address the economic needs of the community. It has been discussed at length and generally recognized that money needs to be set aside specifically to jump start and pursue several opportunities for economic growth on the Warm Springs Reservation.
To address the pressing need for increased job opportunities job opportunities for tribal members and additional sources of revenue for the Tribes, the Tribal Council has approved the establishment of the Business Investment Revolving Fund (BIRF) and the Economic Stewardship Program which will set the infrastructure in place to coordinate, evaluate and make recommendations to Tribal Council on which economic development projects to pursue. This program will try to address the need for additional revenue to support the Tribes’ general operating budget and the establishment of more small businesses on the reservation.
The BIRF will act as the source of capital and/or short term loans during the initial phase of these economic endeavors, with the funds eventually being repaid back into the fund in order to further pursue other economic growth opportunities.
It was determined that a supplemental budget should be proposed to make available funds to cover the initial investment in the BIRF. On August, 3, 2010, a motion was made and resolution (11,295) was passed by Tribal Council to post a supplemental budget in accordance with the Constitution and Warm Springs Budget Ordinance 67, as amended. This will allow for public comment prior to Council considering approval via required resolution. Notice will be posted at the Administration Building, the IHS building, Warm Springs Post Office, Warm Springs Market, both longhouses and Three Warriors Market.
The total under consideration to appropriate is $2 million. This money would not come from the Revenue Reserve Fund. The source of these funds is earnings from tribal investments that have been previously pledged under a 2008 supplemental budget which remain unspent at this time, and funds generated from proceeds of sale within the Warm Springs Housing Authority. This initial deposit into the Business Investment Revolving Fund will be followed by subsequent transfers of an additional $8 million which will be outlined during the annual budget process later this year.
We look forward to receiving input from the membership regarding this proposal.--Tribal Council Chairman Stanley Buck Smith and Secretary Treasurer Charles "Jody" Calica.
Prevention coalition plans holiday fun
The Prevention Coalition team has started brainstorming ideas for events to follow this year’s Christmas light parade.
"Dr. Creelman brought the issue to us," Caroline Cruz said. "There are a number of people in the community who don’t have the symptoms, but they are stressed. This is something that you can’t prescribe a pill to treat."
The high level of stress in the community is the result of specific conditions on the reservation, namely gangs, alcohol and drugs.
"These are some of the problems that contribute to our stress level as a community," Cruz said. "Dr. Creelman is concerned that he’s going to continue to see this problem in his office."
Stress on a community-wide level can lead to such symptoms as headaches, stomach problems, depression, and insomnia, according to the American Institute of Stress.
"We’re planning on having a conference in the future specifically on stress issues," Cruz said. "But for now, we need to do something fun to get the community involved."
Some of the ideas for fun following the Christmas light parade include a Christmas program, a talent show, an Elvis look-alike competition, and a chili or stew cook-off.
During the senior program last May, "Elvis" made a special appearance and the people went wild.
"We could have three Elvises," Cruz said, "and they could try to one-up each other. Maybe they could sing Christmas songs!"
The Prevention Coalition team voted to have the Christmas program on Saturday, December 4.
The next meeting will be held at the community counseling center on Tuesday, Sept 28, at 1 p.m.
September is National Recovery Month
By Duran Bobb
The response online to the National Recovery Month article in the last issue was favorable.
More stories poured in, including that of a young tribal member dad who is living and working in Portland.
Richard Suppah has been sober for five and a half years now. He said there was pain and constant shame in his addiction.
"I was in dire straights, homeless, not able to hold a job. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I had to muster up the courage to face this problem."
Today, Richard’s life has changed. "I’m happy," he said. "I’m a responsible father, a college graduate, a certified veterinarian assistant. I’m moving forward with my head held high!"
Harvianne Tias said that she wasn’t anonymous when she was out in the world, sowhy stay anonymous now--in her recovery?
"I went to jail," Harianne said. "I saw my child cry, and that was the hardest for me. So after sitting 90 days, I went to treatment for 90 days."
Harvianne has been in recovery now for over five years.
"My life is much better these days," Harvianne said. "I have my girl and I get to see her grow up. I’m a part of the family now, not the outcast. People don’t run the other way when they see me coming. These days, I get lots of love and hugs!"
Sept. 8, 2010
Six steps to understanding tribal criminal court process
By Reina Estimo
This is the debut column from Legal Advisory for Warm Springs (LAWS) Department.
Step one: The incident
Step two: Bail/Bonds
Step three: Arraignment
Step five: Trial
Step six: Appeal
By Duran Bobb
There has been much buzz about the roundup lately. It got me curious.
August 25, 2010
Casino FEIS a welcome event
By Dave McMechan
The publication earlier this month of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cascade Locks casino and resort was a welcome event for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
The project has been for the tribes for nearly a decade, since the membership voted by referendum in 2001 to pursue gaming expansion at the Columbia Gorge.
"I was extremely pleased with the publication in the Federal Register," said Tribal Council Vice Chairman Ron Suppah, who has been working on the project since the beginning.
"I sincerely believe the Tribal Council works for the membership, and the membership a long time ago directed us to build a casino at the Gorge," he said. "Since that time we’ve been following that directive."
With the August 6 publication of the FEIS, "We’re now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel," said Suppah. "And it’s important that we communicate clearly and openly with the membership and any others that need to know the facts."
The most important aspect of the FEIS, he said, is its clear designation of Cascade Locks as the preferred site for a new tribal casino.
"And secondly," he said, "the FEIS provides accurate information addressing the concerns that are voiced by the opponents."
The main opponent of the Cascade Locks casino is the Grand Ronde Tribe, obviously because their casino, Spirit Mountain, may have some competition from a Cascade Locks casino.
The Grand Ronde refer to the Cascade Locks project as a "rival casino." Grand Ronde officials continue to state falsely that Cascade Locks is not part of the Ceded Lands of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. This question was settled years ago in a federal lawsuit.
Opponents state that the Cascade Locks casino would be the only off-reservation casino in Oregon, while actually most Oregon tribal casinos, including Spirit Mountain, are not on lands that were originally part of reservations.
The Grand Ronde is the only tribe opposed to the Cascade Locks project, while eight other Northwest tribes, most recently Yakama Nation, have been strong supporters of Warm Springs in this effort.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs encourage members to comment on the recently released Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Cascade Locks Resort and Casino project of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently announced in the FEIS, published in the Federal Register, that Cascade Locks is the preferred site for a new tribal casino. The following in formation can used to submit comments:
Mail, hand-deliver, or fax written comments to:
Division of Natural Resources
Bureau of Indian Affairs
911 NE 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Include your name and return address.
Comments, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation Tribe Resort and Casino Final EIS
Comments are due by Monday, September 6, 2010.
The Record of Decision should be complete in the Fall of this year.
A recommended action will then be forwarded by the BIA to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior.
For more infromation go to:
Or contact: Scott Aikin, BIA Division of Natural Resources. 503-231-6883.
Back to 509-J
By Duran Bobb
I used to love the first day of school up until the 6th grade. That’s when it started to take longer to get to school. Kids back then woke at 6:30 and had to walk to the bus stop. Helmer would whistle as he drove the busload of screaming kids up the grade at 25 mph. That’s the fastest the buses were able to go. J. Geil’s "Centerfold" was number one on the charts and the world was still buzzing about Mt. St. Helens blowing her top, literally.
Fast-forward to a different age, when some school districts are recommending brands of spell-checkers and calculators to parents. I know I’m starting to sound like my dad now, but anyways––we used to have to sneak our calculators into math. They were the huge C-cell red LED display jobs.
It’s almost time for kids to go back to school. Our sidewalks will empty during regular school hours. Movie theaters will be silent again during early showings. Young minds will expand with possibilities.
This year’s back to school barbeque will be held on September 2 on the lawn behind the Family Resource Center from 4 to 7 p.m. They’re going to give away school supplies and this is a chance for parents to meet some of the 509-J staff.
Interesting to note this year, youth ages 12-19 who fill out a survey with Michael Martinez will have a chance to win $100. Also, one person will take home a Nintendo Wii.
Lucky. That would have been unheard of when I was in school. Why, back then we had to walk to school every morning. 25 miles. Up-hill both ways. Barefoot. In the snow!
August 11, 2010
Federal action a long-awaited milestone for tribes
By Buck Smith
Tribal Council Chairman
This is a very important and long-awaited milestone in our efforts to make the Gorge casino a reality.
Until now, the new Obama Administration has taken no action on any Indian gaming projects.
There has been a logjam and no decisions on Indian gaming for nearly a year and half while the new Interior Secretary reviewed the last Administration’s gaming policies and considered how to move forward.
Now, the logjam has been broken.
Our Final EIS, which has been stalled for ten months, is has now been released to the public.
This completes the very long and drawn out federal environmental review process, which is required by federal law before the Interior Department can approve the project and take the Cascade Locks casino site into trust.
The release of the Final EIS is a critically important milestone for two reasons: It answers all of the false claims of our opponents, and it sets the stage for timely approval by Secretary Salazar.
First, the Final EIS answers all of our opponents who have said that a casino in Cascade Locks would be harmful to salmon, increase air pollution in the Gorge, put too much traffic on Interstate 84, and generally be bad for the environment.
What the FEIS shows is that none of these criticisms are true. I am gratified that the science of this Environmental Impact Statement recognizes the unique historic relationship between the Warm Springs people and the Columbia River Gorge, acknowledging that we will do all within our power to protect the environmental quality of the river and the lands that are within the heart of our traditional homeland.
In fact, the BIA says in the FEIS that the Cascade Locks casino is the "preferred alternative," which means that compared to a casino at Hood River or a casino on Highway 26 at Warm Springs, only the Cascade Locks casino will meet the tribes’ very serious financial needs with minimum impacts on the environment.
I invite all tribal members to view the Final EIS at the BIA’s gorgecasinoeis.com website.
The second reason we should celebrate the release of the Final EIS is that the stage is now set for the Interior Department to make its final decision on the cascade Locks project.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar now has all the information he needs to announce his approval of the Cascade Locks project under the standards set out in the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the BIA’s fee-to-trust regulations.
The law requires a 45-day waiting period after the FEIS is made public, but after that the Tribal Council will begin urging Secretary Salazar to announce his approval of the project.
Thank you for your patience and your support as your tribal leadership has pursued the George casino project as instructed by the membership in the 2001 George casino referendum.
It has taken longer and been more costly than any of us expected, and we are not yet at the end of the road. But we believe that our patience and hard work will be rewarded in the near future with the final federal approval of the project.
Editorials from around the region supporting casino project
The publication last week of the Cascade Locks casino final environmental impact statement generated support for the project from newspapers in the state. Here are two examples:
From the August 6 Oregonian:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs published its final environmental impact statement on the various alternatives for a Warm Springs casino.
The three-volume study identifies a 25-acre site in an industrial area in Cascade Locks as the preferred alternative.
You can find the report at www.gorgecasinoEIS.com. It’s worth reading, especially if all you know about the project is the relentless opposition bankrolled by the Grand Ronde tribes, who want to ensure there is no Portland-area competition for their own lucrative casino.
When you set out to kill the only economic hope for tribes suffering with a staggering 60 percent unemployment rate, you ought to have your facts straight. But that hasn't stopped the Grand Ronde and others from making a broad range of unsubstantiated claims.
Here are facts: Fisheries scientists say a casino in Cascade Locks would pose no jeopardy to endangered salmon and steelhead on the river. The visual impacts would be muted, too, because the casino would be built inside an urban area, not high on a bluff near Hood River on land that the tribes could use as an alternative site for the casino.
Critics have overstated the traffic congestion and potential air pollution, too, according to the federal study. The tribes plan to build an interchange on Interstate 84 at Cascade Locks. It’s laughable that the Grand Ronde, with a casino clogging a treacherous two-lane road to the Oregon Coast, would be among those raising traffic concerns about a casino next to a four-lane interstate freeway.
Now that the federal analysis has demolished the environmental arguments, you’re going to hear again that Cascade Locks would be Oregon’s first "off-reservation" casino, and would set off a tribal stampede to Portland and other cities. That’s not true, either.
The Warm Springs tribes are in the unique position of owning land–the site near Hood River–in federal trust even before the 1988 Indian gaming law was approved by Congress. Most experts on gaming law believe the tribes can legally build a casino there. Gov. Ted Kulongoski recognized that the state faced an either-or choice, Hood River or the better, less environmentally sensitive site in Cascade Locks.
Moreover, the town of Cascade Locks sits on what was the ancestral homeland of the Wasco, one of the three Confederated tribes of the Warm Springs. All of the tribes roamed the gorge and fished the river for centuries, and still have treaty rights there. It is outrageous that people who have spent all of a couple years in the gorge now feel entitled to describe the tribes as outsiders who have no business there.
When the 45-day comment period for the environmental analysis ends, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar should promptly make the two-part determination to allow the casino at Cascade Locks. Salazar must decide whether placing the land in federal trust is in the best interests of the tribes and not detrimental to the surrounding area. He also must determine whether the site should be made eligible for tribal gambling. The lengthy federal analysis strongly supports both findings.
Salazar must send his decision to Oregon’s governor for concurrence before the land is moved into trust. Kulongoski has worked out an agreement in which the tribes would swap 175 acres of land near Hood River and, over decades, give the state as much as $850 million for a college scholarship fund. He’s eager to concur on the casino at Cascade Locks. But if Salazar delays, Oregon’s next governor almost certainly will block the project. Democrat John Kitzhaber and Republican Chris Dudley both oppose a casino in the gorge.
There’s no reason for more delay. A full and fair environmental analysis supports the Cascade Locks site. This has gone on for almost a decade. That’s enough.
From the August 9 Bend Bulletin:
The Department of Agriculture announced last week that it will stimulate economic development in scores of rural communities by spending $1.2 billion to expand access to broadband Internet service. Among the beneficiaries is the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, where, gushes Uncle Sam, a $5.4 million grant will "help drive economic development in the community that will help create jobs for years to come."
We’re sure glad somebody in Washington supports tribal development. Because here in Oregon, neither candidate for governor is willing to let the tribes create 2,000 jobs on their own. How’s that for irony? If John Kitzhaber and Chris Dudley represent Oregon’s two brightest hopes to revisit single-digit unemployment, this state could be in worse trouble that we thought.
For years, the tribes have been grinding diligently through the process required to build a casino in Cascade Locks. Because their existing casino, Kah-Nee-Ta, is too remote to attract gamblers in meaningful numbers, they would like to build a replacement facility much closer to Portland.
The bureaucratic path of least resistance leads to Hood River, where the tribe already owns land in trust. But Hood River doesn’t want the casino, and the city of Cascade Locks, which is even closer to Portland, does.
In their pursuit of the latter option, the tribes have enjoyed the invaluable support of Gov. Ted Kulongoski. Federal law requires state governors to approve the construction of most tribal casinos, and Kulongoski signed the necessary agreement in 2005. But his term is winding to a close, and his successor, whether Dudley or Kitzhaber, could end up determining the project’s fate.
Unfortunately, both have expressed their opposition, thereby passing an important litmus test for environmental groups that oppose development within the Columbia River Gorge. But one person’s litmus test is another person’s livelihood, or in this case, a significant part of a community’s economic future.
Even as the Department of Agriculture handed out broadband grants last week, another federal agency, the Department of Interior, recommended Cascade Locks as the site for the tribes’ casino. Given the accompanying analysis of the tribes’ options, it’s easy to see why.
According to the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, the tribes face "a serious financial situation caused by steadily declining tribal revenues and shrinking tribal budgets against a backdrop of a rapidly growing" population with "significant unmet social and economic needs." The federal government would like to help the tribes improve their lot. To that end, the EIS considers four possibilities.
The first alternative, which assumes no new casino, isn’t so hot for obvious reasons.
Slightly better would be a new casino along U.S. Highway 26 near the town of Warm Springs. The facility would increase net employment by 400 jobs, but its distance from Portland would limit its profitability. Ultimately, it "would not improve the Tribe’s long-term economic conditions." So much for that.
The tribes’ options in Hood River would be far more lucrative, providing "capital for investment in tribal infrastructure and enterprises that can create long-term economic stability and self-sufficiency." The region also would gain about 1,100 jobs.
But even more jobs––about 2,000––would accompany the development of the Cascade Locks project, which would be more expansive than any of the possibilities in Hood River. The tribes would build within Cascade Locks’ urban growth boundary using property reserved for industrial use. To handle traffic, the tribes would pay for a new interchange on I-84. Finally, they would give the state a perpetual conservation easement covering their property in Hood River.
Gorge preservationists, not surprisingly, argue that building a casino in Cascade Locks, even on industrial land, would encourage traffic, pollution and, of course, sprawl. Fighting development of any kind, regardless of economic conditions, is their prerogative. After all, they’re not asking Oregonians to give them the state’s highest elective office.
Dudley and Kitzhaber are. Both list economic development as a high priority, as must any politician seeking to lead a state with seemingly intractable double-digit unemployment. But when it comes to supporting a project on industrial land that would employ hundreds and hundreds of Oregonians, they’re about as enthusiastic as teetotalers at a wine tasting. Are voters really supposed to be enthusiastic about a couple of guys who appear less committed to job creation that Ted Kulongoski?...
Fortunately, many weeks remain before Oregonians must choose, given Kitzhaber and Dudley plenty of time to rethink their positions. If nothing else, they should explain to voters why the state should turn its back on 2,000 jobs the current governor supports.
By Duran Bobb
We might have a fighting chance at this. If we’re careful, and we use these chances as a single reservation of three tribes, not as groups, we could really do it.
The two big chin-wags on the reservation have been, finally, the publication of the FEIS in the federal register and the telecommunications grant. Those are both projects that have the potential to redirect all of our people back into financial security. If we’re careful.
There’s other positive news to consider. Some Warm Springs police officers were deputized recently in both Wasco and Jefferson counties. And the tribes have received a grant for the B160 road project. Danny is also happy to mention a grant for work on the new Sidwalter fire station. And there is also a pending grant to improve cell sites. And Jim Manion could soon begin negotiations for a new power-line right-of-way agreement.
The pattern here is obvious. We’re getting help and good news, finally, and someone (or Someone) is helping to move us forward again.
It’s not all about the money, no. This is about identity and presence, culture and the right to feel safe again at home.
This is our chance to help our tribal members to help themselves by providing jobs.
There’s a household on the reservation with 11 family members under one roof. Eight of them are educated. One is employed.
No matter what family they come from, what tribe, where they live... they’re Warm Springs tribal members, our people, Indian and can use the work.
Consultants are nice. But we had plenty of them while we were sinking fast. Non-tribal members can find work almost anywhere.
Tribal members are connected to this land by blood and history. It’s hard for us to leave, I’ve tried it myself.
One of our main arguments for the Bridge of the Gods has been our 60 percent unemployment rate. The FEIS has been signed and grants are coming in.
Now let’s go to work.
Sovereignty and gunfire
By Duran Bobb
In last week’s shootout in West Hills several agencies were present to assist Warm Springs police in the capture of Aldo Antunez, and the question immediately came up—by inviting these outside agencies onto the reservation, are we endangering our sovereignty?
One tribal member emailed: "It used to be, you would have never seen an outside agency off of the main road. We need to return to that code before we open the reservation to unwanted interference!"
Another email read: "How dare the police open fire on a tribal member, a loving father, in a residential area!"
First, the fugitive was the one that opened fire. How were the police (a few of them probably loving fathers themselves) supposed to respond, by ducking and dodging the bullets while shouting out stern warnings?
As far as sovereignty goes, a lot of this has to do with the intertwining jurisdictional issues over criminal matters, particularly felonies, tribal officials said.
Reservation police do not have jurisdiction over felonies committed on tribal lands. Felonies fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI, which was present at last week’s apprehension.
"Based upon three armed confrontations," Jody Calica said, "the protection of the public has to be the first priority in a residential area. Therefore, a SWAT team was deployed. The only SWAT team in Central Oregon is a state police team."
So there we are, without jurisdiction over felonies, relying on the FBI, and in need of the state’s SWAT team in order to keep a neighborhood safe.
The Oregon Court of Appeals recently ruled that tribal police are not recognized as "state officers." This came from a case heard by Judge Dan Ahern, in which a criminal ran from tribal police with the car chase ending off-rez.
Ahern ruled that, Yes, the tribes have the right to protect their sovereignty. The court of appeals didn’t agree. So the "Kurtz" case is now on appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court.
By requesting assistance in these matters, we are not giving up our sovereignty or losing rights. When mutual aid is deployed, Calica said, it generally falls under tribal command. Congratulations to all officers involved in apprehending the fugitive. Our reservation is safer today thanks to your efforts and dedication.
By Duran Bobb
Got your attention? It did mine.
During the Simnasho Fire back in the early 90s, the house where I was living burned to the ground that fast. We weren’t allowed to go back in to get anything.
In fact, as I recall, I was on the air reporting on the fire while the house went up in flames. Everything was gone.
In the ashes that were left, I was able to identify the partial remains of an iron kupn I had just purchased for $20. The fire was that hot.
The only thing left was the lawn mower. For some reason, the fire left a perfect circle around the mower.... almost as a message: Mow your lawn next time!
Earlier this week, a hawk was to blame for the most threatening blaze so far in the 2010 Fire Season.
A nest caused a transformer to short and a downed electrical wire ignited flames over 2 acres..
The power was knocked out, affecting about 50 homes south of the Shitike.
Three dozen firefighters battled the Tenino Firefor about 20 minutes, and flames came within 10 feet of several houses.
Pretty much at the same time, the Rattlesnake Springs Fire was eating weeds downstream from Kah-Nee-Ta. The cause of that fire is still under investigation.
"It was a pretty busy day," Fire Chief Dan Martinez said. "We needed help - like now, so we put out a call for mutual aid to Jefferson County.
The fires were contained, houses were saved. Thank you, firefighters. You did your job well, and you all deserve a big pat on the back.
Since the Fourth of July, there have been up to 14 fires, Dan says. These were mostly human caused, in knee-high weeds.
Tuesday night, Dan couldn’t sleep. "I finally shut my eyes around one a.m.," he said. "And I was up at four o’ clock this morning. I’m so worried about our community and all that goes on. We need to protect our homes and our loved onces and be aware that wildfires can kill."
Roots of Treaty Days Celebration
By Duran Bobb
As far back as 1953, atwai Grant Wahenekah had the dream of having "Fun Days" on the reservation to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of 1855.
So back in the 1960s, the story goes, Grant delegated Sam Colwash and his wife to travel to various pow-wows across the nation.
During their observations, Sam and his wife were to take notes on how other celebrations were conducted, protocols, the judge selection, amounts paid to participants, etc.
When the couple returned to the reservation, Millie Colwash said in an interview with Louie Pitt, a group was formed to brainstorm ideas.
"Wherever we met," Adeline Miller said, "we’d put money into the fund. Whatever we could contribute, even if it was just one dollar."
Some of the group members included Emily Wahenekah, Prunie Williams, Art Mitchell, Larry Calica, Adeline Morrison, Larry Macy, Lizzie Rhoan, Clarence McKinley, and "8-Ball" Jim.
"We decided to call it Paiyumsha," Adeline said. "That just means let’s have fun. It was for the whole reservation, all people to come together to celebrate."
Cassie Katchia remembers the old Fun Days from 1969. "Those celebrations would last clear until the 4th of July. Later on, they met with Tribal Council and were able to use ‘Treaty Days’ in the title."
"The first dance that they had at the first powwow was the Round Dance," Harrison Davis said. "They had three grand-daughters of the treaty signers there. Nina Patt, Evaline Simtustus, and Elaine Clements. I still have a picture of Ervin Brunoe and Orin Johnson doing the Round Dance. That’s how it started."
"I danced in the tiny tot division when the pow-wow first started," Auroly Stwyer-Pinkham recalls. "My cousin, Helena Shike Jackson was the winner, I remember that."
Adeline Miller, Millie Colwash, and Bernice Mitchell are the three remaining founding members of the Treaty Days celebration, according to Adeline.
Suggestions regarding Chieftainship succession
The consultation of a number of people with the office of the Secretary-Treasurer of the Confederated Tribes led to the following suggestions regarding the Wasco Chieftainship:
The selection of the successor to the Wasco Chieftainship must respect the cultural and traditional beliefs and practices of the Bands and Clans of the Wasco people.
This selection must represent the interests and consensus of the Wasco people.
This is not and should not be a Tribal Council or tribal government effort.
In consultation with the BIA Agency Superintendent and Tribal Council chairman, the following is a suggested course of action to better ensure a logical and rational selection and placement of a successor to the Chieftainship that respects the views of the people to be represented:
A general meeting of the Wasco People should be convened to discuss the social, political and cultural expectations of the Chief; the qualifications selection protocol and processes, and timing;
Apply the qualifications, expectations and process to the candidates;
A selection is made and agreed by the Wasco People: care must be exercised to not confuse Agency District residence and tribal allegiances in defining Wasco People;
Tribal Council will acknowledge the selection by resolution, and then the BIA Superintendent will swear in the successor.
By Duran Bobb
It seems like we’ve lost an awful lot of people lately. It seems our elders are being taken away from us just when we need them the most.
The air feels heavier today, the sun a bit dimmer. People over the reservation are still in shock after learning that one of our respected leaders, an honored elder, a friend, a mentor, and a Chief has passed away.
"His Indian name was Skou and he was of Chinookan descent," Viola Kalama says. "That’s how he was the chief, that was his right."Adwai
Viola Kalama, 86, sister to adwai Skou says that she is now the last sibling remaining.
"He’s had many accomplishments throughout his life," Viola said.
"He’s been leading the people now for 51 years as Chief. And even before that he was involved with tribal government."
The coming times for the reservation will be difficult, Viola said. There are important decisions that need to be made.
I remember back in 1998 when I needed a letter of recommendation from a tribal leader to get a scholarship to attend an archaeology field course. Adwai Skou
Maybe our elders aren’t really leaving us, just going home. When they’re certain that those they’re leaving behind can jump out of the nest and fly on their own wings, our departed can go home to rest.
Elders leave us with good memories, laughs, words of wisdom, acts of kindness and bravery.
Leaders leave us with a sense of what can truly be accomplished through determination and unselfishness.
Many people on the reservation knew adwai Skou
Today’s youth will know a new leader when they’re my age. They will benefit from the victories set in motion by adwai Skou
"It’s going to be hard to fill his shoes," Viola said. "But it’s something that has to be done now. I hope the process can go peacefully, out of respect."
Club grateful for funding help
The Boys & Girls Club Warm Springs Branch would like to thank everyone who helped out with our first big fundraising event that was held on Saturday, May 1 at Kah-Nee-Ta High Desert Resort and Casino.
The afternoon activities for that day included a 9-hole golf scramble with prizes, mini-cultural workshops, fish hatchery tour, and a book signing by award-winning author and speaker Jane Kirkpatrick.
In the evening hours, we had a silent auction, flute music by Foster Kalama, a buffet style dinner, club presentation, a dance performance by club youth, guest speaker Kirkpatrick, and a live auction.
It took a lot of work, individual effort, and enthusiasm to plan, prepare and actually complete the event, but it was well worth it for our youth. The money raised will be used for club operational expenses such as art supplies, basic club needs, incentives, special projects, and snacks.
We appreciate all individuals, enterprises, and companies that generously donated to our event. These include:
Kah-Nee-Ta High Desert Resort and Casino. Janelle Smith and Fran Moses-Ahern did a phenomenal job of keeping us on track and focused. Also, Mary Kay Williams and Heather Ben with all the other details.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and the Twenty-Fourth Tribal Council, and secretary-treasurer Charles "Jody" Calica, Gerald Smith and Ray Potter.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland metropolitan area.
Jim Manion of Warm Springs Power Enterprises
Warm Springs Composite Products
Albert Kalama Fishing.
Other donations included money, auction items, volunteering personal time and expertise from:
KWSO 91.9 FM, PGE, Verizon Wireless, Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Spirit Mountain Casino, the Mill Casino, Nike N7 Department, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort, the Boston Red Sox Organization, Sather Byerly and Holloway, Warm Springs Tribal Credit Enterprise, Ken and Jeanie Smith, Spud and Elina Langnese, Betty George and family, Lolly Jackson, JoAnn Moses, Brigette Whipple, Merle Kirk and family, Arlita Rhoan, Foster Kalama, Marg Kalama, Natalie Moody, Evaline Patt, Sandra Danzuka, Mavis Shaw, Terry Courtney Jr., Mary McNevins, Shawn Morford, Yvonne Iverson, Sue Matters, Julie Quaid, Jane Kirkpatrick, Benson Heath, Lupe Katchia, Madras High School, Pastor Rick Riberio, and the Warm Springs Presbyterian Church Women.
We are very fortunate and honored to have received great support from everyone. Thank you.
Will-writing service free to tribal members
By Maria Godines
Public administrator, Tribal Court Probate
Are you interested in having assistance with completing a will? If so, this is your opportunity.
Through the Indian Estate Planning Project, Matthew Bromley will be in Warm Springs to assist people with writing a will.
Bromley is a law student of University of Oregon. He completed his undergraduate degree at Humboldt State University in Northern California.
Any tribal member with trust land, a home, livestock, vehicles, a bank account, or anything else of value should write a will to ensure the people you want to have these assets will inherit them by your wishes.
You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your name put on a waiting list to be scheduled in for an appointment.
To be best served it is requested that the initial contact be done through email. If you do not have email, you leave a message at 541- 520-9912.
When contacting Bromley, you must provide your name, mailing address and telephone number. If leaving a telephone message, be sure to spell your name out in addition to saying your name and repeat your phone number, this will assist in assuring your contact message is correct for a reply.
When coming to your first appointment, bring along:
Any former wills written for you;
Any information on any children, including address and date of birth, information on spouse and former spouse, or any other beneficiaries;
Any information on property you own, including the legal description; and,
Your tribal enrollment number, and BIA number.
Offices that may assist you with obtaining your tribal enrollment number and BIA number are BIA administration 541-553-2439, Vital Statistics 541-553-3252, or tribal Probate 541-553-3264.
Please be advised, time and space for this opportunity is limited.
This is a free service. Bromley will only be here for 10 weeks and that it can take more than one appointment to complete a will.
Innocent before guilty
By Duran Bobb
They said on the TV, in the papers, over the radio waves and on the Internet: Waylon McKie Weaselhead was being sought as a person of interest. Authorities wanted to interview him.
Online, mug shots of Weaselhead began appearing everywhere.
In forums, people posted comments and cast their first stones.
Even before police said anything about his involvement in the shootings and car chases, the judges and juries online made fun of the name "Weaselhead."
"Please catch this lunatic," one comment said. "He may be out there hurting another person right now!"
Wait a minute, I thought. So far, all we know is that this person is wanted for questioning. The authorities haven’t said anything about this man being involved in any crimes.
All news reports and press releases mention that there were two suspects. Nobody has come right out and said, officially, that Weaselhead is wanted as a suspect in the events that took place on May 20.
Until he is officially named as a suspect, and even until it’s proven otherwise in court, isn’t he innocent? Isn’t that how our system works, a system that many are so proud of? "Innocent until proven guilty."
It’s a good thing such decisions (innocent or guilty) aren’t decided on internet forums, chatrooms, and message boards.
Based on what I’ve read online, during research, Weaselhead might have already been sentenced for his crimes even before the authorities have declared him a suspect.
All reports have mentioned two suspects inside the white Explorer involved in the shootings. There was a driver, and a passenger.
Yet today, only one name has been mentioned. Only one set of mug shots released.
Officially, that is.
Cursing in Indian
By Duran Bobb
According to some opinions online, there are no swear words in Japanese or Finnish. There are people who say that both the Welsh and Hebrew languages contain no bad words.
A friend of mine approached me recently and told me that she has been asked to stop using the word "Shiapu" at work. "Some people consider it a bad word," she said.
"Actually, our people were very direct in what they said," says Dallas Winishut, who teaches the Indian language in Warm Springs. "Shiapu explains the race of the person, that’s all. Just like Chmukly describes a black person."
There are words in Indian that describe body parts. Women have some of those parts, men have the rest.
"But that’s all the word does," Winishut says. "It describes the body part. There are no swear words in our language."
Traditionally, it’s against the rules for the speaker to use those words in an insulting way.
Some words come pretty close to being insults. These are words of disgust, rather than colorful, detailed descriptions.
"But it could be the way a person says it," Winishut says. "They can try to make it sound dirty."
That can also be done in English, as demonstrated by a commercial aired on TV a while back.
Wife: "You son of a biscuit eating bulldog!" Husband: "What the french, toast?"
In that commercial, a stick of gum cleans another dirty mouth. Fabulous!
In real life, though, an insult takes two people. One to speak, and another to listen.Shiapu
"All words can be used in a good way," Winishut says.
is only a word. It’s a descriptive, used in the same way a person might use Tnxt tnxt tnaan to describe a human being of Oriental descent. Or Shiwanish to describe a stranger.
Act requires offender registration
By Roxanne Johnson-Bisland
The act requires tribes to implement the minimum standards of sex offender registration, or allow the state government to enter tribal lands in order to enforce the act.
Tribes were given until July of 2007 to pass a resolution to either "opt in" or defer.
In an effort to protect tribal sovereignty, promote public safety on tribal lands, the Warm Springs Tribal Council signed Resolution No. 10,774 in 2007, electing to exercise jurisdiction under the Adam Walsh Act.
On April 1, 2010 Tribal Council signed Ordinance 91 enacting Tribal Code Chapter 380 "Sex Offender Registration and Notification."
The Tribal Code Chapter 380 "Sex Offender Registration and Notification" requires any person convicted of a sex crime covered in the code to register with the sex offender registration office.
The sex offender registration office is located upstairs of the courthouse. The office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Any person convicted of a sex crime by any state, federal, military, foreign or tribal court, and living within the reservation boundaries, or land in fee or trust of the tribe, is subject to registration requirements.
Registration requires in-person appearance.
At the time of registration the frequency of appearance and requirements will be discussed with the individual registering.
A copy of the tribal code can be viewed at the registration office.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the registration office at 541-553-2214. Or email to: email@example.com.
Part of the Adam Walsh Child Protective and Safety Act of 2006 requires sex offender registration and notification.
Renaming S-Word Places
By Duran Bobb
Next month, geographers, map makers, journalists and historians will be among the experts meeting with the Oregon Geographic Names Board to go over submissions to replace geographic locations throughout Oregon which contain the word "Squaw."
The action was instigated several years ago by Olivia Wallulatum and atwai Colleen Roba of Warm Springs.
They convinced the state legislature that many people consider the S-word an ethnic slur, and lawmakers voted to remove the word from all government property in the state. A second law included a recommendation to consider new names from Indian languages.
So far, said Sharon Nesbit, President of OGNB, there are about 115 places in the state which need new names.
But what about other place-names that have little or no historical value to Oregon?
Mt. Hood was named after British admiral Samuel Hood. Sam himself never even saw his mountain.
Mt. Jefferson was named after the president who laid the foundation for the devastating Indian removals of the 1830s, according to Mark Hirsch, Ph.D. in American History from Harvard University.
Thanks to the efforts of Wallulatum and Roba, Squaw Creek in Deschutes county was renamed in 2005 to Wychush Creek. At that same time, Squaw Creek Falls was renamed to Chush Falls.
Mt. Hood was once called Wa’Ist, according to Dallas Winishut at the Language Program. Wikipedia online says that Hood was called Wyeast from the Multnomah tribe. However, Winishut says that the name was changed to Wyeast from non-Indian speakers who couldn’t pronounce Wa’Ist.
Mt. Jefferson was once known as Patu. It was also referred to as Xati Waptki, which was a camp nearby.
Those opposed to changing geographic location names throughout Oregon say that it will cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money. In other states, names such as "Politically Correct Creek" have been submitted for consideration.
The Oregon Geographic Names Board will meet on Saturday, June 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the Sherman County Senior and Community Center, 300 Dewey St., Moro, Oregon.
Tribes facing challenge with Housing
By Jody Calica
The Warm Springs Housing Authority is a tribal entity set up under Warm Springs Housing Ordinance 60 and in accordance with the Native American Housing and Self Determination Act, (NAHASDA).
Regionally, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assistance is administered by the Northwest Office of Native American Programs.
It operates as a hybrid of a government program and an enterprise; it is governed by a board of commissioners who are appointed by the Tribal Council.
Recent articles that were published in the Bend Bulletin are reasonably accurate about tribal housing and problems with the existing structure of a semi-independent "tribal designated housing entity" (TDHE).
Some of these problems have existed over the past four terms of Tribal Council, with several short-term fixes.
Early problems were identified with the Housing Authority relating to credit card misuse and awarding unusual pay raise and bonuses. These were parts of the "nine findings and six concerns" that were indentified in a HUD 2003 review and audit.
Concern grew when the Authority took grant funds intended for tenant services to pay for the unauthorized spending. Several commissioners reported making the payments on their credit card accounts; however, WSHA financial records turned up lost or destroyed.
Later, in hiring an executive director, the board passed over an experienced and qualified tribal member to hire a non-tribal member with a highly questionable business history. His employment was short, as he was prosecuted by federal authorities for acts of misconduct on the job.
The Tribal Council stepped in and appointed an Interim Housing Advisory committee to restore governance and management of the Housing Authority.
Governance and management issues were restored, the 2003 "nine findings and six concerns" were well on the way to be being resolved.
The Housing Authoriy Board of Commission was reinstated by the Council in 2007.
The remedies that were initiated by the Interim Housing Committee were ignored or abandoned and replaced with a business-as-usual attitude throughout 2008.
The unfortunate result was a January 2009 HUD review and audit that identified a new set of "ten findings and three concerns" with the comment that some of the people that caused the 2003 audit findings had returned and contributed to the 2009 audit findings.
The HUD Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has now taken action twice to review operating deficiencies with the Housing Authority.
Another issue was raised by the recognition that several of the appointed commissioners could not pass the tribes’ credit and criminal background checks to be bonded to manage the assets and on-going operations of the Authority.
The OIG specifically recommended appointing qualified commissioners and hiring a qualified housing director to bring the Warm Springs Housing Authority operations back into compliance to avoid the further potential of sanctions against the tribes via the Housing Authority.
The 2009 HUD review and audit identification of the ten findings and three concerns included a number of deficiencies. Some were ongoing issues. The issues included:
Areas of concern
Community, homeowner and tenant safety concerns including abating criminal activity and remedies for burned out and abandoned housing units;
Substandard construction and poor workmanship in units that included the HUD funded Bear Drive and Walsey Lane Restoration Projects;
With the exception of finance functions, self-monitoring is out of compliance:
The inspection and maintenance systems for HUD units is out of compliance in areas of properly administering work orders, inventories, inspection schedules and staffing assessments:
Failure to properly enforce the Admissions and Occupancy Policy for breaches of tenant leases particularly related to serious criminal and drug abuse activities:
The contract administration system is out of compliance to ensure inspection, oversight, and management of work performed, including correcting deficiencies by contractors:
These and other deficiencies of a Letter of Warning must be corrected by April 26 to avoid serious sanction that will include the loss of funding.
Unapproved heating units
In a related matter, members of Council became concerned over the purchase and planned installation of non-certified and unapproved wood-burning furnaces within the living space of 40 rental units.
The heating units are not approved by EPA for such use in Oregon, California, Washington or Idaho. No certification has been provided by the Underwriters Laboratory that the units are safe for such use.
The Authority also failed to get permits and approvals from Fire and Safety, Tribal Inspectors and the Public Utilities Branch, which seemed to be an arrogant gesture in relationship to recent fire-related fatalities.
The search for an executive director has been ongoing for almost two years with no success.
On one occasion, a candidate was recruited with high regional praise. Inaction by the board caused him to take a job with a neighboring tribe.
A subsequent effort resulted in the selection of a candidate with national acclaim. Unknown delays by the board caused that person to take a job offer in California.
The situation has bloomed into more disorder with complaints and cross complaints of mismanagement, bad business practices, alleged corruption, conflicts of interest and dishonesty. The seriousness of those complaints has undermined the systems needed to ensure financial internal controls are in place for grant and contract compliance.
As a result, the Office of the Inspector General has been requested to do both an investigation and audit of the Housing Authority.
That involvement significantly limits the flexibility and discretion of the tribes to assert its own remedies and schedule to correct the identified deficiencies as stated in the letter of warning.
In November 2009 the Council convened a housing workshop with Northwest Office of Native American Programs, the WSHA Board and staff to examine the likelihood of any success using the existing TDHE model.
In the alternative, could a change be made in another operating model and a more effective strategy that could produce better assurance of consistent and productive results that will ensure safe and affordable housing of the quantity and quality desired by the membership, our families and the community?
There is a need to examine other strategies, and recruit other partnerships and financing opportunities to make housing accessible to our growing population.
Our discussions need to turn to action to put a housing initiative in place that can produce jobs, homes, family security and more economic certainty for our community.
Tribal Council members have visited a number of other tribal housing programs, including the Squaxin Island Tribe, to discuss their history and progress.
Through the workshop proceedings, a decision was made to formally transition the tribes’ housing program from the TDHE model to have it operate as a tribal department for several years to regain trust, respect and credibility with funding agencies and the community.
Once that happens, then re-examine the merits of returning to a TDHE model to better segregate potential risk and liability concerns for the tribes’ tenants, homebuyers, and business interests.
More help in battling drugs on the rez
By Duran Bobb
It sounded like more embarrassing news for the reservation at first, when I saw the headlines. The reservation was being declared a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, announced Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden.
After some research on my own, I realized that this designation was actually more like an award of assistance granted by the higher-ups. Some counties in Oregon, I learned, have actually been trying to obtain this designation for years.
Being declared a HIDTA doesn’t mean the reservation is populated by tribal members who are growing or manufacturing illegal drugs––not at all.
For years, reservations across the U.S. have been looking more and more attractive to non-tribal member drug dealers and growers for a variety of reasons.
Usually, on the reservation, we have a limited number of tribal police. Indian Country usually has extremely limited resources, financially speaking. Reservations are normally located in remote areas. Drug dealers need only worry about tribal police, as jurisdictions very seldom overlap. And the terrain can be treacherous to the point that many tribal members will never venture out into some locations of their own reservations.
Rather than trying to amend our tribal constitution (Article III, Section 4) to float tribal members off of their own reservation, HIDTA designation gives Warm Springs an alternative––a new weapon to fight the increasing threat of drugs that face us today.
That is, rather than walking around our yard plucking the pesky dandelions (which will just grow back in greater numbers later on), we can now dig the problem up by the root.
Warm Springs, being a HIDTA, is now eligible for assistance in fighting drug trafficking on the reservation. Carmen Smith asked for HIDTA designation as part of an effort to form a Northwest Indian Country Drug Task Force. Brad Halvorson, who is running for Jefferson County Sheriff, said that it’s his understanding that Jefferson County didn’t submit an application to be designated a HIDTA. So my initial embarrassment at the headlines last week has dissipated. Replaced by a pride for our police department—on the ball, on the rez.
Hazardous materials, safety awareness
By Jonathan Smith Jr.
Environmental health technician
Can you spot hazardous substances, and access resources to find out more information about them?
Do you understand your responsibilities in regard to your employer’s Hazard Communication program.
Do you understand the role and responsibility you may have during an emergency?
Do you use an emergency response guide?
Are you aware of the possible harmful effects of toxic substances from a clandestine meth lab waste site?
Do you know who the local contacts are for handling these types of incidents?
Do you recognize the most common slip-ups in handling these incidents?
Can you minimize the chances of serious injury from exposure to them?
For answers to these and other questions, please join us on May 25-27 for free safety awareness training; so that you can answer these questions comfortably.
The training sessions are eight hours long and do require full attendance for a certificate of completion.
Please contact us for further information. Call 541-553-2461 or 541-553-1196, ext. 4242.
Or you can email us at:
Everyone is welcome. So call and reserve your spot today.
Code of Ethics questioned
By Duran Bobb
There has been some talk on the reservation about the creation of a Code of Ethics Committee. Some community members are being asked to complete a survey, giving their input on such things as:
What should some of the qualifications include for being on the Code of Ethics Committee? Do you support the idea of creating such a committee? What concerns do you have?
As a tribal member, my main concern would be determining who has the qualities and morals that it would take to sit on such a committee. Would that person attend church or believe in a higher power? Would they be alcohol and drug free even when they’re not being watched? Would they conduct themselves in public the way that they would be asking others to conduct themselves? Would they be required to pass a criminal background check?
Those questions lead to other questions. Would the Code of Ethics Committee be made up of tribal members? Would they be related to others on the committee or on Tribal Council? Would the committee answer to Tribal Council and the public?
The Sage dictionary defines ethics as: motivation based on ideas of right and wrong. The study of moral values and rules.
One of my favorite movies depicts a senator who is the co-founder for the Coalition for Moral Order. His co-founder is eventually found deceased in an awkward situation, one that is quite immoral in some eyes.
How would we prevent that from happening with a Code of Ethics Committee? How much power would we give this committee? Who would the committee answer to when they broke their own rules? Whose idea of right and wrong would the committee follow?
These are just some of the questions that went through my own mind while filling out this survey. These are questions that made me grateful that I fell in love with writing, rather than politics.
At least in writing, we have a nifty little backspace button.
Good luck to our next tribal council.
It couldn’t be an easy job, representing your districts and moving our reservation into a positive pathway for the generations to come.
Census worth answering
By Duran Bobb
A Christian lady, polite and quite professional, brought the packet to my door. She said please and thank you, and declined a cup of coffee that I offered her, always maintaining her smile––even though I suspected that she was tired and wanted to go to her own house rather than mine.
After she left, I opened my 2010 Census Packet to the bossy instructions and intrusive questions. If any other stranger came knocking on my door and asked these questions, I’d probably slam that door in their face! It’s none of their bee’s wax!
They wanted to know who stayed at my house. They wanted to know my educational level, how much money I make, my race––and they didn’t consider "Hispanic" a race, for the purposes of the survey.
Well they could have offered me a few bucks for taking time out of my schedule to fill out the form. I jived that delightfully to myself while marking in my answers with a #2 pencil (before erasing them to find a black or blue pen like the instructions told me in the beginning).
By filling out the form, an average $1,200 per person of census-based federal money will be distributed annually for the next 10 years to our community. I learned that from Scott Sylvester, 2010 Census Rep.
"The bottom line is," Sylvester said, "the more American Indians who are counted, the more money the community receives."
No, they wouldn’t give me $1,200 just for filling out the form…but it’s something like that. Federal funds can go towards public housing, health care, education or roads, etc.
In 2008, according to survey results, there were 4.9 million Indians. That number is expected to rise to 8.6 million by the year 2050. That would make up 2-percent of the total US population! So I guess it is a little ball of their bee’s wax after all.
If you aren’t pleased with how things are going locally, then you have two chances to be counted. First, vote in the upcoming Tribal Council election. Our leadership can represent us to the best of their ability. You have the chance to help select our future leaders––that’s how important your vote is. Second, fill out your 2010 Census. That’s one way for you to represent yourself, and those living in your home.
Letter answers Cobell settlement FAQs
Dear Indian Country:
As many of you know, on December 7, 2009, we signed a settlement agreement with the government which marked the first step toward resolving the long running Cobell class action lawsuit.
Since that time, I’ve been asked hundreds of questions about the case and the settlement agreement. I can’t answer every question in one letter, but I am committed to writing an open Ask Elouise letter every week answering many of your important questions. If you have a question, e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or send a letter to: Ask Elouise — Cobell Settlement, P.O. Box 9577, Dublin, OH 43017-4877.
When will I receive my funds? It depends on when Congress passes legislation implementing the settlement and it is finally approved by the courts.
The settlement agreement provides that the first payments should begin shortly after final approval and will continue for at least six months pursuant to Court order. I know many of you are concerned that it may take years to receive your share. That isn’t true. We have designed a formula to ensure that won’t occur.
When will the settlement be finally approved?
After legislation is passed, the district court will schedule a hearing to consider the settlement and decide whether to grant Preliminary Approval of the settlement. At that point, there will be a 2 - 3 month period where notice will be provided to class members after which a "Fairness Hearing" will be held so that the Court can hear any objections to the settlement. If the judge deems the settlement fair, then he will issue an order of "Final Approval." The court of appeals may then consider any appeal from class members. If there is no appeal, payments should begin sixty days following Final Approval. If the court of appeals accepts an appeal, pay! ments could be substantially delayed.
When will Congress pass legislation approving the settlement? I don’t know when Congress will pass legislation. The parties agreed to extend the settlement agreement to February 28, 2010. I’m hopeful that legislation will be passed by then, but it might not happen. If it does not happen, I’ll consult with our attorneys about our options.
How much will the attorneys be paid? The Court will determine attorneys’ fees, but the attorneys have signed a separate agreement with the government agreeing to not ask for more than $99.9 million. This is less than 3 percent of the settlement funds – a very low percentage for attorneys in class action lawsuits. Consider that attorneys representing tribes under Indian Claims Commission Act generally received 10 percent as mandated by statute and attorneys involved in suits related to Enron received 9.5 percent (almost $700 million). Many medical malpractice attorneys receive over 30 percent; and, the tobacco attorneys received billions of dollars and very few did more than file a complaint in order to immediately negotiate a settlement. Most cases don’t even involve d! iscovery, let alone go to trial, but our attorneys have prosecuted seven major trials in this case, litigated countless appeals, filed thousands of papers and reviewed tens of millions of pages of discovery without receiving due compensation for their services. I fully support the fee application. It is in fact unusually low for attorneys involved in complex, heavily litigated class action lawsuits. Frankly, I am concerned that if the legal fees for our attorneys are unreasonably low that will discourage competent lawyers from future representation of Native Americans in class action litigation against the government. It is also important to recognize that members of the class will have an opportunity to inform the Judge if they oppose the fee award.
How much will the named plaintiffs receive? The Court will also determine amounts to be paid to the named plaintiffs for their time and costs, also called "incentive payments." This case was funded in large measure by the Blackfeet Reservation Development Fund ("BRDF"), a grass roots community development organization which assists Indian communities understand their trust assets.
I have also given a significant amount of money to the case out of my personal funds. Funds were used to pay for experts, class communications and costs related to the prosecution of this case. During settlement negotiations, we estimated that these costs were in the range of $15 million. To date, very few of BRDF’s costs have been reimbursed and I have never been reimbursed for funds that I’ve contributed to the prosecution of this case. No tribe has ever given money for this case.
In future Ask Elouise letters, I’ll answer questions about how much you can expect to receive if the settlement is finally approved as well as questions related to the damages class included in the settlement agreement. Thank you for your commitment and patience during this long and difficult process. Best wishes, Elouise.
Former governor expresses support for Cascade Locks
Editor’s note: This is a copy of a letter sent in mid-December to Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Department of the Interior. Its author, former Oregon Gov. Victor Atiyeh, who also sits on the Warm Springs Tribes gaming enterprise board, authorized printing the letter in the Spilyay Tymoo.
As a former Governor of Oregon I am writing you today to express my strong support for the proposal of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to develop a gaming facility and hotel in Industrial Park in the City of Cascade Locks in my state. During my terms as Governor (1979-1987) I conceived and worked closely with Congress to enact the 1986 Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act. The Warm Springs/Cascade Locks project is just the type of tourist and recreation base economic development I envisioned for the Gorge when I proposed in my 1984 State of the State address protecting scenic values of the Gorge and natural resources while also promoting its working economy.
You should also know that for the last five years I have served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Warm Springs Tribes’ Kah-Nee-Ta resort and casino enterprise. In that capacity I have supported the Cascade Locks proposal of the Tribe. I strongly believe that the project is compatible with the scenic qualities of the Gorge and also will greatly stimulate the depressed natural resource based economy.
At the time I spoke of the Gorge in my State of the State address I was working with my Washington State counterpart, Governor John Spellman, to secure the support of his state for the idea. Together we signed an agreement on protecting both the scenery and economy in the Gorge. That agreement was transmitted to our Senators in Congress, especially Sen. Mark Hatfield. That agreement was the underpinning of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act. As Governor I remained an active proponent of the legislation through its passage, signing and implementation, including working directly with the White House to assure the signing of the Act.
So, my familiarity with the Scenic Area Act, its history and its intentions are first hand. As such, I want to emphasize that the purpose was twofold: to protect and enhance scenic, cultural, recreational and natural resources of the majestic Columbia River Gorge and, at the same time, bolster the economy of the area by encouraging new economic development within existing urban areas. The Gorge is the home of tens of thousands of people, many of several generations. Assisting the economy, particularly in the urban areas, to grow and support those people and their communities is an essential element of the Act. As the traditional natural based economy declines new jobs need to be developed in the recreational and tourism sector. Today the city of Cascade Locks and the Warm Springs Tribes are working to make the transition a reality.
Some parties are trying to diminish the economic element that is a key factor in the balance of the Gorge Act. These parties, many of whom do not reside in the Gorge, fail to note that it is a living working landscape. In opposing the Warm Springs Cascade Locks project they seek to equate the Scenic Area with the national parks and to extend the Act’s land use restrictions to the urban areas. However, situated between the proposed casino site in the Industrial Park, which is zoned for this type of development, and the closest boundary of the Scenic Area, are the Union Pacific mainline railroad tracks, an interstate highway (I-84), city streets, private residences, a city boundary that is also the urban boundary in the Act, and a high voltage electric transmission corridor cleared of vegetation. Certainly the Scenic Area Act did not create a national park. Indeed, the Act has specific provisions encouraging growth and development in the Gorge’s urban areas while protecting the non-urban and undeveloped areas.
The co-existence of those two functions within the Gorge is the essential element that makes the Scenic Area Act unique.
Mr. Secretary, I must emphasize that there is no one – in or out of the state – that is a more ardent advocate for the preservation of the Columbia River Gorge. And, I would add, no one – with the exception of Mark Hatfield – was more intimately involved in the development and passage of the Gorge Act.
As the Interior Department deliberates on the Warm Springs Locks Proposal, I want to make sure the true intent of the Act is remembered and seriously considered.
As a former elected leader who is very, very familiar with the whole story both as a former Governor and now as a member of the Warm Springs Tribes gaming enterprise board, I strongly believe that this project fits perfectly within the intentions of the Act.
John Day says 'No' to Aryan Nation
By Duran Bobb
Right after Valentine’s Day, on our Ceded Lands, about a three-hour drive from Warm Springs, in John Day, a man by the name of Paul R. Mullet was escorted through town by Jacob Green and Christopher Cowan.
His purpose? To buy one of two vacant buildings and establish a national headquarters for the Aryan nation.
The white supremacist group is looking to establish a state for themselves, Mullet said – a place where non-whites would be excluded and considered the enemy.
One problem for them…actually, two or more.
First, we’re here, and it doesn’t look like we’re pulling up to move any time soon.
Second, the good people of John Day have shouted, "We don’t hate, we don’t fear – we just want you out of here!" Cars were honking their horns. Angry grannies marched with their signs held high like pitch forks. And real estate agents refused to work with Mullet, who identifies himself as the national leader for the Aryan nations.
Third, the official leader for the Aryan nations is August B. Kreis, III. And he’s not moving to Oregon, but to Florida.
The whole thing started back in the early 1970s with Richard Butler. He founded the Aryan nation. Two Indians sued Butler in 2000 and won a $6.3 million combined civil judgment. He was forced to sell his Idaho compound, and it was burned to the ground as a fire exercise later on. Butler died in 2004.
Mullet says that the mountainous terrain around John Day would be excellent for Aryan survivalist training. I think he’s right…it has turned our own people, who lived in that area for ages, into quite the survivors, actually.
According to Paul Diller, who teaches Property Law at Willamette University, it is perfectly legal to refuse to sell Mr. Mullet any property based on his political views.
John Day says no. Native Americans say no. We agree – and according to the book I follow, that makes us brothers.
February 24, 2010 edition
Voting procedure ensures fair and honest election
By the Tribal Elections and Counting Boards
The Election and Counting Boards report to the polls prior to 8 a.m. to set up tables with all election material—ballots, sign-in binders, ballot boxes, pencils. These are provided by the Vital Statistics Department staff.
Tables are set up for the voters with pencils and copies of the Spilyay with photos and statements of all nominees.
The counting room is located away from the voting area where tally sheets are ready with the names of nominees listed for each district.
Each District has their own tally sheet. There are four counters: Three will be the talliers, or ones who mark the votes on the tally sheets, and one who calls out the names from the ballot.
All three districts are counted by all three counters. Callers can be rotated among the group if they so choose.
The counters begin counting the absentee ballots that have been received prior to election day. Ballots are separated into the three districts, each a different color, then counted one district at a time. The counters have no knowledge of who voted on these ballots.
When the counters are finished with the absentee ballots, a box with the local ballots is delivered for counting. This procedure continues throughout the day until all ballots are counted.
The registration table is located near the door to assist voters to sign in and they are given a ballot to the district they are registered in.
One or two members are called "runners." They deliver and return sealed ballots to the hospitals in Bend, Redmond and Madras if there are tribal members as patients, to the jails in Madras and Warm Springs, home-bound elders, voters with disabilities, or those who don’t have transportation to the voting polls.
Areas covered are from Simnasho to Seekseequa to Miller Flat/Sidwalter.
The judge oversees the registration and the counting areas to answer any questions or concerns.
Locally, after voters mark their ballots, they are folded and placed in the slot of the ballot box which is located next to or on the registration table.
After the polls are closed at 8 p.m. and the counters are finished counting the ballots, results are listed on forms provided for each district, and counters and the judge sign the result forms.
All material are locked inside the ballot boxes and delivered to the superintendent.
The next morning, the Election Board Judge and a staff from Vital Stats presents the results to Tribal Council for certification. The results are then posted in public areas of the community.
It is guaranteed that the election board performs their job in an honest, confidential and fair manner. In Warm Springs, everyone is related in one way or another and the election board members respect everyone’s decisions and privacy.
Results are never disclosed by the election board members until they are certified by the Tribal Council the next morning.
At every referendum, we receive ballots that have to be eliminated or voided due to it being marred in some way, including:
Voting for too many candidates, changing a vote by marking it out, writings or comments on the ballot, illegible markings, to name a few.
If you accidentally make a mistake, take the ballot back to the registration desk and trade for another. That way your vote will count. If you want to make a comment, do it on a separate piece of paper and not on the ballot. Another concern is of a fictitious character listed as a write-in candidate. A policy definitely is required for this disrespectful motive.
For the Tribal Council referendum, tentatively set for March 31, the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., including the noon hour. If anyone needs to have a ballot delivered to them or anyone, please call the Vital Statistics Department at 541-553-3252 and they will be placed on the list.
If anyone has relatives that live off the reservation, please confirm with them that they have received their ballot. For questions, concerns or more information, call the Vital Stats office.
Native artist, athlete shine at Olympics
By Duran Bobb
In 1894, Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee to breathe life back into the games that were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8
Fast Forward. The designer for the 2010 Winter Olympics medal is Corrine Hunt, an artist based in Vancouver, B.C. Hunt is of Komoyue and Tlingit descent. The Komoyues are the tribe that occupies the northeastern end of Vancouver Island.
Each athlete who wins a medal will also receive a scarf that will show them how their one-of-a-kind prize fits into the larger artwork depicting an orca whale. Hunt says that she chose the orca for the master design because the creatures live within a community.
"I felt the Olympic games are a community too," Hunt said. "The orca is a creature that has wonderful capabilities but can’t really survive without its pod."
People who don’t like the design for the medals absolutely hate it. Complaints range from "they’re too heavy" to "they look like potato chips."
But the people who like them absolutely love them. "I think they’re actually quite beautiful," one admirer commented online.
"From straight on, they’re round and traditional. I don’t have a problem that they’re wavy when viewed from edge. The fact that the artwork and shape has Aboriginal heritage is inspiring."
Forty-eight medal designs were submitted by artists for consideration. Six-hundred and fifteen medals were produced.
Callan Chythlook-Sifsof, 21, hoped to get her hands on one of those medals, whether people thought they were ugly or not. She’s the first Native Alaskan to make the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Olympic Team.
"When you come from where I come from," Chythlook-Sifsof says, "the Olympics are just something you see on TV. It’s never really real. I’m really proud to show people that this isn’t just something that you see on TV. That real people can do this. It’s for everybody."
Ice and poor visibility made the track at Cypress Mountain treacherous last week. Chythlook-Sifsof was sent crashing during her first qualifying run, as were many athletes.
Although she brought home no medal this year, this athlete has won a much deeper prize. Chythlook-Sifsof has become a heroine to Indians everywhere.
"I want to be an inspiration to other kids in my culture," she said. "and I want to show my culture to the world."
You go, girl!
Chythlook-Sifsof’s webpage is www.callanx.com.
Feb. 10, 2010 edition
Oregon tribes should be united, not divided
By Jefferson Greene
Native tribes are a living legacy of the most spiritual, cultural, and traditional people to have ever inhabited what is now known as the Pacific Northwest.
Hundreds of thousands of Indigenous people built their livelihood on these very Northwest lands, maintaining networks of commerce, wisdom and spirituality since time immemorial.
The treaty days of the 1800’s set out to remove the Indigenous people from their usual and accustomed lands for the better migration of Europeans, devastating our nations and networks.
The Indigenous people were forced to cede tens of millions of acres to the United States and moved to nine reservations throughout Oregon. In having to move to less familiar lands, the people encountered many frustrations and personal battles throughout the reservations. These battles and frustrations were mostly with the U.S. government, but the nations continued to survive and adapt.
Now, over 100 years later, the expansive and diverse backgrounds of Indigenous individuals are spread across the state of Oregon, creating new and modern communities of culture, friendship and kinship.
But what we can also observe in Oregon, is tribal governments utilizing their sovereignty in such a way that it separates Indigenous nations over more modern issues such as commerce, development, and financial gains.
The development initiatives of some Indigenous nations have separated our once strong networks of friendship and sharing that should instead be united for a better overall presentation and view of Oregon tribes.
This new event called the Gathering of Oregon’s First Nations in the Willamette Valley is a presentation of our separation. The event was held last year in an effort to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the state of Oregon, yet now appears to be an annual event for the tribes on the western side.
We are not quite certain as to why the separation, but we can be certain that it is unhealthy and unnecessary.
It is in my opinion that a Gathering of Oregon’s First Nations should be a presentation of our togetherness, not our separation.
It is in my opinion that when an entire state bares witness to the separation in our once-strong Indigenous networks that we further become vulnerable to the future.
We are constantly publicizing that our indigenous people have survived and are culturally and traditionally wealthy in modern times. Yet, the modern day competition over financial gain puts an end to it all and we begin to imitate the acts of a race that once dominated and devastated our nations.
I hope that in the future, we can come back together as the Oregon tribes we once were, standing culturally, traditionally, spiritually, and humbly together.
I hope that in the future, our Gathering of Oregon’s First Nations is truly a Gathering of First Nations and not a gathering of western or eastern tribes.
Togetherness is strength and tradition our future generations can follow, while separation shows a weakness and cowardliness our future generations may be left with.
The Adam Walsh Act
By John Bruhoe
The Adam Walsh Child Protective and Safety Act became law in 2006. Title 1 of the Adam Walsh Act is the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
SORNA requires tribes to implement the minimum standards of sex offender registration set forth in SORNA, or allow the respective state government to enter tribal lands in order to enforce the act.
Tribes were given until July 26, 2007 to pass a resolution to either "opt in" or defer.
In an effort to protect tribal sovereignty, and promote public safety on tribal lands, the Warm Springs Tribal Council signed Resolution No. 10,774 on June 18, 2007, electing to exercise jurisdiction under the Adam Walsh Act.
The purpose of sex offender registration on the Warm Springs tribal lands is to increase community safety and deter recidivism by the offender.
Public awareness of sex offenders living, working, or going to school on the Warm Springs tribal lands is an important tool to protect children and adults living on the tribal lands against further abuse by sex offenders.
Pursuant to SORNA, information regarding registered sex offenders residing, working, or going to school on the Warm Springs tribal lands will be available to the public on the Internet via the tribes’ sex offender registry website.
Sex offender registrations and periodic appearances will take place in the sex offender registration office, which is located upstairs at the Court House, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Individuals subject to registration under the tribes’ sex offender registration program are not limited to individuals who have been convicted or sentenced by the Warm Springs Tribal Court, nor to tribal members or Indians in general.
Rather, any person who resides, is employed, or attends school within the exterior boundaries of the Warm Springs Reservation or on property owned by the tribe in fee or trust regardless of location that has been convicted of a qualifying sex offense must register with the tribe.
Individuals who have been convicted and sentenced by the Tribal Court for a qualifying sex offence must also register with the Tribe.
When sentencing a defendant for a violation of the Warm Springs Tribal Code, the Tribal Court will make a finding as to whether the defendant must register as a sex offender.
Specific information about the tribes’ new sex offender registration program can be found in the tribes’ Sex Offender Registration and Notification ordinance, which will be codified as Chapter 380 of the Warm Springs Tribal Code.
The tribes’ sex offender registration office is also available to answer any questions about the tribes’ sex offender registration program.
(Editor’s note: Tribal Member John Brunoe has been hired as the Registration Administrator and Tribal Member Roxanne Johnson-Bisland was hired to assist in the efforts of implementing the Adam Walsh Project. The Sex Offender Registration Office can be reached at 541-553-2214 Monday – Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or you can email John at email@example.com with any questions, comments or concerns.
Have a happy Valentine's Day
By Duran Bobb
One story about Valentine's Day goes something like this: St. Valentine was a Roman who was punished when he would not give up his Christianity. On February 14, 269 A.D., he died and left a note for the daughter of his jailer, whom he had befriended. The note began, "From Your Valentine."
In our Indian language, there are no words for "Happy St. Valentine’s Day," said Dallas Winishut, Sahaptin Ichishkiin language teacher. "Instead, we use "Atawishamash Tmnakni." In shiapu, that means "I love you from the heart."
On the rez, love is strong and alive––whatever language you use.
Carol Sahme helped to coordinate the recent Warm Springs Recreation Sweetheart Sale. The 17 slots for local vendors went quickly, she said.
"We wanted to give local artists a chance to provide unique gifts for Valentine’s Day," Sahme said. "These are items that you can’t buy at any store, items unique to our local community. This was a perfect way for people to keep it local, on the reservation."
Vendors were well-known artists, such as Brigette Whipple, Eliza Brown-Jim. Lovey Colwash served up food from the kitchen.
St. Valentine’s Day is full of history. Aretha Franklin recorded "Respect" on this day of love. Oregon was admitted as the 33rd state on this day. And it was the day of Al Capone’s infamous Valentine’s Massacre in Chicago.
Locally, Lincoln’s Pow-Wow will be taking place. This year, the event is in memory of the reservation’s own atwai sweethearts, story in this issue.
January 27, 2010 edition
Tribal sovereignity depends on tribal members
By Bruce Engle
Warm Springs Credit Enterprises
This article is about how tribal economies and sovereignty relate to each other.
The more important message is at the end; it’s about the children.
Sovereignty is perishable. It can be extinguished by conquest and by federal law. We Klamaths know this to be true; it happened to us—we call it "termination."
Fifty-five years ago Congress decided to go out of the Indian business; they had been talking about it for years. They passed a law. We were one of the four tribes Congress selected to show Indian Country how to do It.
Boy, did we show them. Even the government now admits it didn’t work! Nevertheless, it could happen again—with the same result. Indian Country needs to be prepared.
Sure, there are stimulus monies available now for a lot of different projects. So much for the short term; as the federal budget gets tighter, some members of Congress will surely resurrect the concept of termination.
A few of them already look at tribes as having vast resources and only a small minority of the population. In their world, we don’t count as many votes. Few votes, little clout.
Our best defense
A thriving economy is our best defense. It is not just about jobs; it is a sovereignty issue.
Economies and sovereignty have something in common; each needs the other and neither can endure long without the other. I know that may be contrary to what some of us have been taught but I think it’s worth considering.
Tribal ability to assert sovereignty depends much upon tribal economic strength. The same can be said for preserving, protecting, and defending tribal sovereignty. In other words, No cash, no clout!
Indian Country is similar to human groups throughout history. Nations and empires have appeared, become strong, become weak, and then disappeared. Sometimes the people survived the loss of control; usually, they suffered.
Here is how I see it for our tribes:
Complete self-sufficiency is a myth for our people. We are a couple hundred years beyond that.
Most people and nations are somewhat dependent upon others.
Co-dependence may lead to acknowledgment of, and accommodation for, common interests and needs. That can be wonderful, but there are risks. Some Co-dependents are stronger than others and may not be so accommodating.
Total dependence inevitably leads to subjugation to another’s self-interest.
Tribes might do well to evaluate their dependency situation. The answers will vary. Remedies may or may not be needed.
The less dependent we are, the more self-determinant we are. I suggest that is a worthy goal.
That brings us back to economics and my belief that economic strength enhances our ability to be tribally and personally self-determinate and able to preserve, protect, defend and assert sovereignty.
Model of success
Let’s tie those comments in to what I think Indian Country can do to take advantage of our economic opportunities. As I see it:
The strength of the U.S. has been, and is, in its people, its laws, and in its organizational structure.
Our successes at home and on the world stage are the consequence of an enterprise system that has both freed and harnessed the energy, the drive, the foresight and the inventiveness of our people to produce goods and offer services that meet our needs and the needs of others.
Tribes that have embraced similar visions of economic success and have instituted workable economic systems that are culturally compatible have prospered and seen their members become successful.
Group success depends upon individual success and vice-versa. That road goes both directions.
I believe we strengthen ourselves, our families, and our tribes when we do not depend for our basic income upon transfer funds from the federal government and/or per capitas from casino or other tribal enterprise revenues.
To do so in excess is to sacrifice our individual potential for success and feelings of self-sufficiency, self-determination, and self-worth.
Relying on our people
Our national systems of government and economic development were designed by previous subjects of totalitarianism from abroad who rejected kings and made royalty of the common man. Citizens were left relatively free to do business. Many did so, and successfully.
History has shown those "royal commoners," as a group, to have been economically pretty successful.
Indian Country has produced individual and tribal successes.
Members who have taught those concepts and the work ethic to their children have seen many of them succeed. Economic success has then become a generational thing.
How do we do that? We must rely on our people.
I remember elders asking about others, "Is he doing well?" and "Are they doing well?"
Those same elders encouraged their kids and grandkids to do well in school. Also, the children worked in the family businesses—mostly farming and ranching. They had chores. They were made responsible for getting them done correctly. They were made to feel that the chores were important.
As the children grew, their responsibilities and contributions to the success of the operation also grew.
So, the children learned the "business" and a work ethic. Parents were role models for the children. Parents and elders set the standards. They made the rules. They monitored the children’s progress. They corrected inadequate behaviors when necessary and a recognizable percentage of those children became successful.
So, what do we get from this?
Raising an economy
Tribal members make tribes successful. Tribal systems can enable or hinder those efforts.
Raising an economy is similar to raising successful children: It takes commitment, a clear vision of the final product, and a lot of work. Preparation is everything. Coaches and athletes say that. Good preparation prevents piddling poor performance.
We and our parents share some responsibility for our success. We and our children will similarly share responsibility for their successes. That is our load to carry—and theirs.
Dec. 31, 2009 edition
Civil legal help for victims continues
By Mark Matthews
Victims of Crime Services
Civil legal assistance for on-reservation victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking will continue through August 2010 with the extension of a grant.
The Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) grant makes available civil legal services and representation in tribal legal matters to eligible victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking arising as a consequence of their abuse or violence.
The U.S. Department of Justice funds the Legal Assistance for Victims grant through its Violence Against Women Office. This is a two-year grant.
Gwen Leonard is the civil legal advocate employed by the grant, and her office is located in the Victims of Crime Services (VOCS) building.
Leonard appears in court with eligible clients who need assistance with restraining orders, divorces, modifications of family and civil orders, guardianships and other civil legal matters arising from a situation involving violence or stalking.
Restraining order cases are the most frequent type of case where Leonard appears in tribal court as a spokesperson.
Leonard also observes at arraignment and other tribal court hearings those person crime cases relating to VOCS and LAV subject matter.
I am the LAV grant supervising attorney, and I assist Leonard with supervision, advice, and will substitute for Leonard when she cannot appear in court.
She is a great spokesperson and legal advocate for her clients. She understands the issues that her clients face because of her background as a victims advocate supervisor, and as a grandmother and community member.
Leonard has attended several trainings, including two trainings for legal advocates taught by the National Institute of Trial Attorneys, and seminar taught by the Southwest Center for Law and Policy.
Potential clients who need civil legal assistance from the LAV program must first have a confidential intake by a VOCS staff member.
If the potential client has legal problems due to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, then that person will be referred to Leonard.
Leonard will then determine if the potential client is eligible for LAV legal services. According to Office on Violence Against Women guidelines LAV legal services cannot be provided to those individuals who need legal representation for criminal defense or if their children are taken into protective custody. Also, the LAV advocate cannot assist clients in off-reservation courts.
Leonard will make a referral to either Oregon Legal Services in Bend, tribal Legal Aid, or off-reservation attorneys for those individuals who are not eligible for the Warm Springs LAV civil legal assistance services.
VOCS advocate supervisor Viola Govenor will assign a victim advocate to work with the client and Leonard with non-legal services and assistance.
The victim advocate may assist the client with emotional support, information or referral, or personal advocacy.
Referrals to the VOCS Evening Women’s Support Group, Warm Springs Community Counseling and other public service agencies are common.
Call 553-2293 during office hours if you need civil legal assistance resulting from domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking.
Quit demon weed tobacco in 2010
By Marta Wojas
Pharmacist, Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center
As the end of the year quickly approaches, people are starting to think about what their New Year’s resolution might be. Some think about losing weight, some would like to exercise more, and some want to spend more time with family.
However, one of the most popular resolutions is to quit smoking or chewing tobacco.
With the increasing prices of tobacco products, it’s no wonder more and more people are thinking about quitting.
The amount of money spent per year for a person who smokes a $5.50 pack of cigarettes a day is $2,008.
If that person wanted to quit through the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center, the cost to him would be zero dollars a year.
That means that person would have more than $2,000 extra dollars in their pocket each year by being tobacco free.
If you decide to quit and seek help through the use of some form of tobacco cessation product and counseling, you have a seven times better of a chance quitting smoking than if you did it by yourself without any tobacco cessation products.
Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to sign up for a tobacco cessation program that offers counseling and medications in one stop.
A pharmacist through the tobacco cessation program can meet with you Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and rest of the week between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
After your first appointment, you should follow up with one of the pharmacists every two weeks to see how you’re doing and if any adjustments need to be made.
If you’re interested in quitting smoking, contact your health care provider or pharmacist at the Warm Springs Health and Wellness Center, 553-1196.
And have a Happy New Year.
Dec. 17, 2009 edition
Christmas spirit on the reservation
By Duran Bobb
The notice came through when the first bitter cold wave hit. In Bend, emergency shelters are opening when the temperatures are down below 25 degrees, but needy families must call to see if there is room available. If there is room available, folks need to be out of the shelters by 7 in the morning—from the shelter they are welcome to stay warm at the library.
I’m not one to dwell on the depressing things at Christmas time. My mom scolds me if she catches me watching such holiday movies as Christmas Shoes. But I can’t help it, I have a big heart… and just the thought of an entire family needing to stay in a library to keep warm, it touches me. "If you want to feel bad for someone," mom tells me, "then feel bad for somebody right here and help them out!"
A few years back, I did research into my family tree and found that I had to draw the line somewhere, where the branches would end. Because I realized that if I continued going and counting, everyone o