Day 10 – Wellpinit

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.

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.

 

Chad McCrea

Chad McCrea

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

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

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

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

Chance wearing a fish shocker

Students taking shocked fish from their net and placing them in buckets

Students taking shocked fish from their net and placing them in buckets

 

Minnows

Minnows

 

 

 

 

Day 8 – Umatilla

Today we went to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in Pendleton, Oregon and viewed their exhibits.

Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

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.

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

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!

Day 6 – Deschutes National Forest

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.

Day 5 – Deschutes National Forest

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)

Benham Falls

Benham Falls

Day 4 – Deschutes National Forest

Tom Walker, Tumalo Falls   Restoration Project

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.

Spotted knapweed

Spotted knapweed

We also got to see some creek restoration.

Tumalo Creek Restoration

Tumalo Creek Restoration

And we finally got to hike up to see  Tumalo Falls.

Tumalo Falls, OR

Tumalo Falls, OR

Day 2 – Warm Springs

Warm Springs Community Center

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

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

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.