Treaty tribes welcome proposal for new village on Columbia River

The Lone Pine In-lieu Site is one of 31 sites along the Columbia River where tribal members endure substandard conditions. Photo from Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is welcoming long-overdue action to address substandard conditions along the Columbia River.

An appropriations bill advancing in the House and the Senate urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete plans for a new tribal village at The Dalles Dam. That would help fulfill the federal government's promise to replace prime fishing, gathering and housing sites that were lost between the 1930s and the 1970s.

"The tribes are very aware of the promises made by the U.S. government," Jeremy Red Star Wolf, the chairman of the commission, said in a press release. "The growing tribal-federal collaboration will be key to correcting this injustice."

The language for the village has been included in the fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the measure on Tuesday while the House Appropriations Committee approved its version at a markup last Wednesday.

The provision in the report that accompanies the legislation reads:
The Committee is aware of a Corps legal analysis that finds that a new tribal village can be constructed pursuant to section 204 of the Flood Control Act of 1950, authorizing construction of The Dalles Dam, because this authority has not yet been used to construct a new tribal village. The Corps is encouraged to continue efforts for the construction of a new tribal village at The Dalles Dam in consultation with affected Columbia River Tribes and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The four Columbia River treaty tribes are the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation, the Nez Perce Tribe and the Yakama Nation.

Get the Story:
Columbia River tribal village picks up steam as House includes language in appropriations bill (The Oregonian 4/19)

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