How Native Foods are tied to Sacred Stories

How Native Foods are tied to Sacred Stories

Author Rosalyn R. LaPier, Montana

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling, on June 11, that asked Washington state to remove culverts that block the migration of salmon. The ruling has significant implications for Northwest Coast tribes, whose main source of food and livelihood is salmon. 

The legal decision stems from the 1855 Stevens treaties when Northwest Coast tribes retained the “right to take fish” from their traditional homelands. Fighting to protect salmon habitat, however, is more than just upholding tribal rights. Salmon is viewed as sacred .. Click on URL below to read the whole story

Tamkaliks 2019 - Ellen Bishop for The Wallowa County Chieftain

The annual Tamkaliks Nez Perce homecoming celebration was held July 19-21 at the Tamkaliks grounds in Wallowa, Oregon.

The original Wallowa Band descendents hold this reunion celebration every year on the third weekend of July. The three day celebration is filled with dancing, drumming and friendship and many look forward to it all year.

This year, 80 registered dancers competed as well as 12 drum circles. Visitors came from all over, including guests from Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan and Spain, to attend this year’s festivities.

Fred Hill and Thomas Morning Owl kept crowds entertained as the masters of ceremonies for the 2019 homecoming celebration.

Things kicked off Saturday with a memorial procession, led by Celeste “Cece” Whitewolf on foot. Whitewolf has ancestry of Cayuse and Nisqually, and Wallowa-Band Nez Perce. Whitewolf lives in Tigard Oregon. Although she missed the first two Tamkaliks celebrations, she has attended every year thereafter. Whitewolf enjoys the social dancing on Friday night and says it is very spiritual.

Logan Quaemps, from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, led the Saturday morning Memorial Horse Procession. Quaemps and a friend made the three day ride over the hill from Pendleton. Quaemps said of the seven year old quarter horse and a six year old “wild horse off the hill,” “They both are tough as nails to make the ride over here”. The five horses in memorial procession circled three times — one circle to honor those from the past, one for those in the present, and one for the future.

Dance performances kicked off with the grand entry. Flag bearers led the procession carrying the Eagle Staff, American Flag, and the Canadian flag. Saturday’s dance performances included the circle dance, men & boys traditional, women and girls traditional, men’s fast and fancy, grass dance and women’s jingle dress.

Jesse Bevis Sr. of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla has been coming to Tamkaliks for years; he remembers performing in the junior category when he was nine or ten years old. Bevis has passed the tradition on to his own family who were in attendance this year. He and his wife Nukinka Manuel have two children. Daughter Alayna Bevis, 14, competes in the Women’s Fancy Shawl. When asked about her favorite part of celebration, she couldn’t decide on one set thing and stated that everything was her favorite. Son Jesse Bevis Jr., 5, was also performing this year and he said his favorite part was dancing in the Tiny Tots division, where he danced “prairie chicken” style. Bevis said Tamkaliks is very special to his family; he looks forward to catching up with friends and family who come to visit not only from Pendleton but from other places like Lapwai and the Yakima valley as well.

The friendship potluck held Sunday served venison, elk and salmon to hungry natives, locals and visitors. Volunteers and committee members served over 480 people at this year’s feast.

Successful Grand (Re)opening of the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland Visitor Center

Successful Grand (Re)opening of the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland Visitor Center

It’s a dream that has taken years to come true. But on Saturday, May 25, the long-planned Wallowa Band Nez Perce Visitor’s Interpretive Center became an impressive reality. Its contents were developed and vetted by the Wallowa Band Nez Perce. The Center’s new exhibits were fabricated locally. The exhibit is part of the Wallowa Band Nez Perce Homeland Project in Wallowa.

Tamkaliks 2018 Dance Contest Winners

Photo from Wallowa County Chieftain:  Lewis Allen, a Nez Perce of Lapwaii, Idaho, competes with another dancer in the Junior Boy’s Traditional dance at the 2018 Tamkaliks.

Photo from Wallowa County Chieftain: Lewis Allen, a Nez Perce of Lapwaii, Idaho, competes with another dancer in the Junior Boy’s Traditional dance at the 2018 Tamkaliks.

Dancing, drumming and feasting

Perfect weather greeted the hundreds who attended the Tamkaliks Celebration July 20-22. The Sunday friendship feast in Wallowa enjoyed a record number of visitors this year. There is no charge for the event, so visitor count was based on the number of people fed (plates), which featured the usual spread of buffalo, elk and salmon and dozens of homemade side dishes and desserts. There were 600 plates allotted for the feast, and organizers ran out of plates.

Check out the rest of the photos and see the winners of the Tamkaliks dance competitions -->

PHOTOS BY ELLEN BISHOP

War Bonnet Special coming to Tamkaliks 2018

Photo from Wallowa County Chieftain: Chieftain archive Colorful costumes worn by young and old are always in fashion during The Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland Project’s Tamkaliks Celebration.

Photo from Wallowa County Chieftain: Chieftain archive Colorful costumes worn by young and old are always in fashion during The Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland Project’s Tamkaliks Celebration.

...Saturday competition dancing begins at 1 p.m. Later that night, following the veterans dance at 7 p.m., is an event never seen before at Tamkaliks and not to be missed –– the War Bonnet special.

Fred Hill, chairman of Tamkaliks celebration, said bringing the War Bonnet special to Wallowa is long overdue

“We haven’t had this kind of special event at Tamkaliks, that’s why I felt we needed to do it,” said Hill, who lives in Nixyáawii.

Thomas Morning Owl is helping organize the event. He said when a tribal member brings out an ancestral war bonnet, he is sharing an important piece of his family’s history. In traditional dance, war bonnets are often worn by descendants of former tribal leaders.

“The war bonnets signify leadership roles in the family,” said Morning Owl, who is a resident of Pendleton. “This is a time for people to bring their heirlooms out in the public.”...

read more at the Wallowa County Chieftan -->

POWWOW FREEWAY

Photo from Oregon Jewish Life: Headdresses at last year’s Wildhorse Powwow

Photo from Oregon Jewish Life: Headdresses at last year’s Wildhorse Powwow

Some say the Blue Mountains of Northeast Oregon, a vast lava flow that emanated from fissures in the earth, are the foothills of the Rockies. The escarpment rises abruptly from 1,000 feet at Pendleton to 3,600 at the top of Cabbage Hill on I-84.To the settlers emigrating on the Oregon Trail, the Blues were the penultimate barrier before reaching the Willamette Valley. To the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla, the 1855 Treaty Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation east of Pendleton, they were and are the bountiful source of first foods, a place of recreation and, into the 19th century, a refuge from attack. To the Nez Perce, Chief Joseph Band, they blocked stockmen’s intrusion into the Wallowa Valley until the early 1870s....

read more at Oregon Jewish Life magazine -->

Tamkaliks Fundraiser Nets $1,200 for Scholarships

The Annual Tamkaliks Rummage Sale and (Buffalo) Chili and Frybread Feed saw a steady stream of visitors last weekend and raised $1,200 toward two $500 Tamkaliks scholarships: the Taz Conner and Terry Crenshaw Memorial.

The fundraising amount was “about average, perhaps a bit more” for the event and considered a great success, said Mary Hawkins, office manager for Wallowa Band Nez Perce Trail Interpretive Center. “We have a fabulous core group of volunteers. We are very grateful to them.”

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read more at Wallowa County Chieftain -->

Oregon's Wallowas: Witness the sad, familar story of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians

Photo from LA Times:  Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. (Pendleton USA)

Photo from LA Times: Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. (Pendleton USA)

Before Lewis and Clark, Oregon Trail ruts, loggers or cattle ranches appeared, the peaceful and powerful Nez Perce, or Nee-Me-Poo (meaning the real people), called the Wallowas home.

Theirs is a familiar, sad story of the West. Discovery of gold led to broken treaties and a forced exodus to a reservation in 1877. Nearly 750 Nez Perce took a 1,170-mile evasive walk instead, pausing to fight the U.S. Army at their heels, before being captured about 40 miles from Canada...

Read the rest of the article in the LA Times Travel section -->