Program 304

Program 304: Historical Introduction

Wanapum tule mat village at Priest Rapids

Wanapum tule mat village at Priest Rapids. Courtesy of the Washington State University Archives.

Historical Introduction: The Yakama Nation

with Arlie Neskahi

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Arlie Neskahi:
Welcome to Wisdom of the Elders. I’m Arlie Neskahi.

The late afternoon sun scattered in the waters of the Snake River. And the River People danced. Each of the two hundred men beat his own drum and formed a semicircle around the white men from the east, who sat in the river side camp nodding their approval. Some of the white men continued to work, unloading their canoes and cooking the dog meat. The River People danced. And their dance was a prayer. For there had been many prophecies of the coming of “a different kind of man.” And this man would bring wealth and new ways, but would also usher in an era of terrible chaos and destruction.

Program 304 – Elder Wisdom

Chemawa Indian School small boys dorm, Salem, Oregon. 1901

Chemawa Indian School small boys dorm, Salem, Oregon. 1901. Estelle Reel Collection. Courtesy Eastern Washington State Historical Society.

Russell Jim

with Brian Bull

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Arlie Neskahi:
Yakama elder Russell Jim has traveled the globe, watching indigenous people from around the world struggle to retain their identity and traditions. A board member for the Center for World Indigenous Studies, Jim has learned that in order to save a culture, one can’t sit idly by. One must intervene. For today’s Elder Wisdom, Brian Bull has more:

Program 304 – Speaking Native

Don Addison

Don Addison. Photo by Larry Johnson.

The Shoshone Language

with Don Addison

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Arlie Neskahi:
Welcome back to Wisdom of the Elders.

Don Addison:
Halito ! I’m Don Addision and this is Speaking Native.

Yakima is one of the northwestern dialects of the Sahaptian language family. Some Yakama elders believe that the language should not be written anywhere until the afterlife. That has made it difficult to teach and created conflict over their language programs. “pee2-naa3-weet1” means “this is the indian way” And expression which resonates with the Yakima people to the present day. “ pee2-naa3-weet1.

Until next time, yakoke !

Program 304 – Sacred Landscape

Camass Lily Field

Hanford Reach. 1993. Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. http://picturethis.pnl.gov /picturet.nsf/All/42CM5P?opendocument

The Hanford Reach

with Judy Bluehorse Skelton

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Arlie Neskahi:
The traditional home of the Yakama Nation stretches from the Cascade Mountains to a great bend in the Columbia River called Hanford Reach. It is also home to the controversial Hanford Nuclear Reservation in south central Washington. Today, Judy Bluehorse Skelton, takes us along the Columbia River where ancient rock paintings can still be seen, and where the Yakama people are reclaiming their land and their cultural history.

Program 304 – Tribal Rhythms

Indian Church, Lone Pine Tree Village, 1959.

Indian Church, Lone Pine Tree Village, 1959. Gladys Seufert Photograph. Courtesy of Oregon Historical Society. http://www.ohs.org/education/focus_on_oregon_history /RLO-Document-Indian-Shaker-Church.cfm

Lorintha Umtuch

with Nico Wind

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Arlie Neskahi:
A crowd gathers in a plain hall with rustic wooden benches and floors. An altar is situated at the front, and a pot belly stove at the side. A collection of bells, hand-held school bells, are assembled on the altar, with a cross and three candles. Everyone prays and sings in their native tongue. On today’s Tribal Ryhthms, we are privledged to get a rare glimpse into the music of the Shaker Church, one of the few nineteenth century indigenous religions that are still practiced across the Northwest. Nico Wind has more.

Program 304 – Artist’s Circle

Vivian Harrison

Vivian Harrison.

Vivian Harrison

with Bruce Crespin

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Arlie Neskahi:
The arts of basketweaving, beadwork, and many other ancient cultural practices, are alive and well in the Yakama Nation today. We can still enjoy these arts thanks to the dedicated culture bearers who take on the responsibility of learning the art and transmitting it to the next generation. On today’s Artists Circle, Bruce Crespin introduces Yakama basket weaver and song-carrier Vivian Harrison, who takes seriously her calling as a tribal artist.