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Yakama Nation

Water moves through a spillway of the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River near Almota, Washington. It is one of the four dams on the lower Snake River, which advocates have argued should be removed to provide better habitat for Chinook salmon.
Nicholas K. Geranios / The Associated Press

Tribal leaders from Washington and Oregon are calling on Congress and the Biden administration to remove the four dams on the Lower Snake River.

JoDe Goudy, Chairman of the Yakama Nation, was denied entry to the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday. Goudy almost always dons his traditional regalia with purpose for important occasions, and a visit to the highest court in the U.S. is no exception.

But diplomacy didn’t seem to sway a security guard outside the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a five-year-old case that questions the rights outlined in an 1855 treaty between the United States and Washington’s Yakama Nation.

Last year, the Washington state Supreme Court granted the Yakama Nation the right to transport goods and services across state lines without taxation. Attorneys and tribal members called it a landmark case for tribal sovereignty. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review it.

The Yakama Nation is asking Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency for the Rattlesnake Ridge landslide. It’s a steep slope outside of Yakima that is moving slowly and clings above a small community, a railroad corridor, Interstate 82 and the Yakima River.

The tribes have a lot to lose if it goes down.

A state Supreme court decision Thursday gives a Washington tribe the right to transport goods and services across state lines without taxation. Attorneys and tribal members said the case is a win on the side of tribal sovereignty.

Alaska’s largest statewide native organization honored the Yakama Nation during their annual convention Thursday. The Yakama Nation loaned the Alaska Federation of Natives $225,000 to establish itself 50 years ago.

The Yakama Nation will have more control with its tribal police and courts over crimes committed on the nation’s reservation. That’s according to the federal Interior Department this week.

Umptanum / Wikimedia

 

The Yakama Nation and neighboring tribes are strongly objecting to a Congressional move to offer public access to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain, a place tribal members consider sacred.

The mountain lies in the Hanford Reach National Monument near Richland, Washington.

AP Photo

Leaders of the Yakama Nation in central Washington say they see little benefit to sales or farming of legalized marijuana on their traditional lands. And the tribes are making moves to prevent anyone from operating a pot business on an area that adds up to one-fifth of the state’s land mass.

Associated Press

Washington state’s new law allowing for personal marijuana use by adults won’t be recognized on the Yakama tribal reservation. 

The Yakama Nation has decided that despite the wish of state residents in voting to allow for marijuana use, they will not allow cannabis to be consumed or grown on the reservation.

Tribal attorney George Colby says in part, it is an issue of tribal sovereignty.

Anna King

When a Columbia River steelhead completes its epic journey from ocean to spawning grounds, it’s usually too exhausted to go downriver again. Often, the fish just dies. But the Yakama Nation is changing that circle of life.

Tribal biologists have created a rehabilitation center that helps steelhead recover so they can spawn again in the future. And the Yakama fish spa is seeing more success.