Program 306: The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indians

Audio and Transcripts

Indians netting fish at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River (Oregon State Archives OHD G211).  Courtesy Oregon Blue Book

Indians netting fish at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River (Oregon State Archives OHD G211). Courtesy Oregon Blue Book

Historical Introduction:
Arlie Neskahi discusses the history of this Columbia River tribe and how tribes from the region and beyond all converged on the villages of the Wishram and the Wasco to trade, socialize and do ceremony.

Elder Wisdom:
Brian Bull shares the story of Adeline Miller who was “born up in the mountains during huckleberry time.”  Now a tribal elder, she reminds her children and grandchildren of their origins through song, dance, and laughter.

Speaking Native:
Don Addison tell us that three native languages survive on this reservation today: Northern Paiute (also called Numu), Sahaptin (or Eecheeshkeen), and Wasco, known as Kiksht.

Sacred Landscape:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton talks about berries, including huckleberries, blackberries and raspberries, which burst with nutrition, and what the tribe is doing to ensure there will be plenty to pick in the future.

Tribal Rhythms:
Nico Wind introduces us to the music of the Warm Springs tribe presented by traditional singer, Carlos Calica, who is the keeper of the Art Mitchell drum. This drum belonged to his grandfather and is a drum Carlos sang on as a child.

Health and Healing:
Rose High Bear introduces us to Faye Waheneka who warns us to stay away from unhealthy food, including fry bread. Raised by her grandparents, she believes in using healthy traditional foods, such as edible roots, berries, deer meat, grouse, and salmon to manage her diabetes.

Artists Circle:
Bruce Crespin highlights the rediscovery of Wasco basketweaving by tribal artist, Pat Courtney Gold who is internationally recognized for the art of full-turn twining. She shares her travels across the country to visit museums with Wasco baskets in their collections and how she reconnected with a basket purchased by Lewis and Clark in 1805.

Turtle Island Storytellers:
Darlene Foster shares first contact stories she learned from her mother, who learned them from her grandmother. “They always told stories about how my ancestors knew before the pioneers came that they would come in. They would flow in like a river.”