Today we met with several people with the Spokane DNR. Warren Seylor introduced us first to Bill Matt Sr., Environmental Protection Specialist who spoke about the environmental issues the tribe faces, along with some personal stories.
Bill Matt Sr., Spokane DNR
Next to speak was Chad McCrea, with the Timber, Forest and Wildlife side of DNR. He spoke about the timber on the reservation as well as wildlife issues.
We were then introduced to Twa-le Abrahamson Swan, the Director of Air Quality. She spoke briefly about the issues she deals with for the tribe including current fires.
Twa-le Abrahamson-Swan, Spokane DNR
Our next speaker was Brian Crossley, Water and Fish Resource Manager. He talked about what him and his assistant Casey do for the tribe.
Brian Crossley, Spokane DNR
Our last speaker was Tana Atchley, the Outreach Coordinator for CRITFC. She spoke about CRITFC and what she does for them. They are an organization that deals with the restoration of salmon in tribal lands.
Tana Atchley with CRITFC
After the meetings with the DNR personnel, we made a trip to Tshimikan Creek. Here we collected minnows. Students had an opportunity to use a fish shocker to temporarily shock fish that could then be easily netted. These fish would then be transferred to a nearby lake as food for bigger fish. This is part of a restoration project to bring back indigenous species of fish.
Chance wearing a fish shocker
Students taking shocked fish from their net and placing them in buckets
Another long day of driving. This was the longest yet but the destination was well worth it. Wellpinit is a very pretty area. We met Warren Seylor at the Wellpinit Jr/Sr High School for showers that were much needed. Wellpinit is on the Spokane Indian Reservation.
After showers, we did some blogging and sleep. It has been a long day!
Today we went to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton, Oregon and viewed their exhibits.
Tamastslikt Cultural Institute
From there we met with Wenix Red Elk, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). She gave a wonderful presentation on the Umatilla Tribe and First Foods.
Wenix Red Elk (far right) giving her First Foods presentation.
We later had a barbeque at the Elk family’s backyard.
Vince George preparing lamprey for the barbeque
Thanks so much to the Red Elk family; Wenix, Loveda, Acosia, Brother and Sister for sharing your time and space with us!
Woke up early and began the next chapter of our journey, the Umatilla Reservation. This was one of our longest drives so far.
We arrived in Pendleton this afternoon and were greeting by Loveda Elk. She is a renowned glazier and opened up her studio to show students how to make fused glasswork.
Today was pretty chill. We woke up and drove down to Lava Lake Resort, not far from camp, and did laundry. The downtime was welcomed and much needed.
Afterwards, students learned about the scientific method and how to use it in environmental sciences. They were then exposed to some cultural beadwork. Cialita Keys lead a class that allowed students to create a leather pouch decorated with beads.
Today we met with Colin McGuigan at Phil’s Trailhead outside of Bend, Oregon. He is with the US Forest Service and talked about forest fuels to the students. At lunch, we talked about the superhero, The Mantid, with the powers of diplomacy. Lunch was provided by the USFS. There we met with Kevin Foss and Scott McBride (whom we met last year).
After lunch, we met at Slough, a Day Use area on the Deschutes river. We then hiked up to Benham Falls. So much fun! (and mosquitoes)
Tom Walker, Tumalo Falls Restoration Project
We met with Tom Walker with the US Forest Service in the Deschutes National Forest. He talked about the Tumalo Creek Restoration Project at the bottom of Tumalo Creek Falls. This project was quite expansive, covering about 3 miles of creek and 200 feet wide of the stream bank. We were put to work on digging up spotted knapweed and lodgepole pine, both invasive species.
We also got to see some creek restoration.
Tumalo Creek Restoration
And we finally got to hike up to see Tumalo Falls.
Tumalo Falls, OR
Warm Springs Museum exhibit
Today we visited the Warm Springs Museum and took in some other sites. We met with Arleta Rhone, an elder with the Warm Spring tribe (no photo available), who talked with us about her childhood.
We spent the rest of the day travelling to the Deschutes National Forest.
Warm Springs Community Center
On the way to meeting with Department of Natural Resource people from the Warm Springs Tribe.
Jason Smith, Range and Agriculture Manager for Warm Springs
After meeting with Jason Smith and his cowboys, we went to see what it is they do to manage the horse population on the Warm Springs Reservation.
Corralled wild horses
The cowboys herded these up from miles away and brought them here to a staging station to be sold in places like Montana.
We left Heritage University sometime around noon and stopped at the Horsethief Lake State Park.
KOA Kampgrounds at Culver, OR – July 28th
After a long day of driving we finally end up setting camp at a KOA in Culver, Oregon.