Program 304: Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation

Audio and Transcripts

7 Yakama and Colvelle Reservation Indians, ca. 1910. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs--Portraits of Chiefs and Other Members of Tribes. Courtesy  Gallery of the Open Frontier.

7 Yakama and Colvelle Reservation Indians, ca. 1910. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs--Portraits of Chiefs and Other Members of Tribes. Courtesy Gallery of the Open Frontier.

Historical Introduction:
Arlie Neskahi discusses the history of the Wanapum, one of the many tribes in the Columbia Basin who, with the Yakama, Klickitat, Palus and dozens of other tribes, formed an interrelated continuity of peoples sharing similar beliefs and lifestyles.

Elder Wisdom:
Brian Bull shares the story of Nathan Jim, Yakama elder, who in his lifetime, has seen some Yakama traditions threatened by today’s environment. Today, he is working with his people to keep the land, the Columbia River and its people healthy and protect it from the damaging effects of the nearby Hanford Nuclear plant.

Speaking Native:
Don Addison teaches us an essential term from the Yakima language, which is one of the northwestern dialects of the Sahaptian language family.

Sacred Landscape:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton takes us to Hanford Reach 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.

Tribal Rhythms:
Nico Wind tells a part of the history and music of the Shaker church, one of the few nineteenth century indigenous religions still being practiced across the northwest.

Health and Healing:
Rose High Bear introduces us to the tribe’s diabetes coordinator, Evelyn Umtuch and to Delores George, who reminds us that “people talk about alcoholism, but food can kill you too.”

Artists Circle:
Bruce Crespin shares the wisdom of Yakama basket weaver and song-carrier Vivian Harrison, who takes seriously her calling as culture-bearer.

Turtle Island Storytellers:
Topennish elder, Johnson Meninick shares his wisdom about the importance of Creator’s laws and his peoples’ traditions and speaks about the sacred mountains of the Northwest Cascades.