Saturday, July 27, 2013
Today is the last day of this long trip. We are now at Dry falls and looking at one of the largest falls in the US. These falls are larger then Niagara Falls. Also we learned that this was the beginning part of a huge glacier that used to be here. Even there is asphalt at the bottom of the canyon and columns that were formed over thousands of years.After all the learning we went through on this long trip. We have been to Warm Springs and to the small town of Wellpinit. I have learned a lot of things from each of these tribes. Many of the tribes all are trying different methods of preserving the natural resources. I believe that the tribes do not have enough involvement from the other tribal members . If they had help trying to save the salmon or the ecosystems, they would be set for a long time. But many of the tribes have scares in the land that are effecting homes of the animals. A good example of this is like in the county of Pendleton they have dikes that are changing the natural flow of the river. Also the keystone animals are becoming very rare to the environment. This can change a lot of things in the ecosystem such as the sockeye salmon in the Nez Perce tribe has been harvested for many of generations and now the sockeye salmon has not been sighted in any of the rivers. That means that the sockeye has been erased from the river and all the animals that depend on it are going to have to eat something else and that could have horrific effects. Many of the Natives that thrive on the sockeye salmon have to go without the sockeye salmon. Many people need to understand that it will take years for the animals to start coming back and need to start restoring them to the land. Another example that I learned form a fur trapper in Nespelem is the beaver. The beaver had always lived on the columbia river. Until the Grand coulee dam was put on the river, causing the water to slow down and water level to rise. The beavers have always lived o the fast flowing parts on the river. They do that because the amount of fish that come through and their houses are built off to the side. It would take the beavers less calories to catch the fish. Which would later cause the beavers to move to a more convenient place where the fish are abundant and the water flow is fast. Overall this trip had taught me that a lot of the tribes have disappearing animal species and other important species in an ecosystem.
This morning we are going to a fish hatchery, located on the columbia river. On the way there the teachers have informed us about what kind hatchery this was. It was actually a fish farm that we were going toa place where the fish are raised and aten in stores. The fish there are not natural fish. They nutralize the fish. This means that the fish is not a male or a female. It is strictly made for harvesting. Sores such as Cosco and other big fish retailers. When there we studied the different life stages of the fish that are raised there. Many of the fish usually don't make it past year 6 because around year 4 they are harvested. A big company had paid for this operation, because it makes big bucks. After we were done with the fish farm we just went back to the nespelem community center. There we played some basketball and watched some movies. Then later we went to bed.
This morning we are scheduled to leave the spokane reservation and heading to the nespelem tribe. Today I got up and got all of my gear packed and ready for the road. The spokane Indian tribe was a blast. We learned a lot from the people that showed us what the Yakamas have in common with the spokane indians. The Yakamas are friends. Chief Kamiakin had some wives that were from the Spokane tribe. He also fought along side with the spokane indians, as one of the tribes elders had told us. But as our trip with the spokane Indians have came to an end we are to hit the road and head to Nespelem land. The trip is suppose to be 3 and a half hours to Nespelem. Along the way there we stopped by a fossil dig site. There we got to get rocks that had a nice layered color and crack them down the middle. I got a fossil that showed a old remnents of lake bottom dibree. Also it was a very hot day to be digging for nice rocks. After the fossil digging we headed fro the Nespelem reservation. The drive there was cool. I slept the whole way to the reservation. We arrived around 6:00pm, at the community center. Overall I got a lot of sleep under my belt and I am ready for tomorrow.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Again we woke up and had some eggs. It was nice to have something different than cereal. Today our plans are full of fun. We sat down with the Spokane tribal members and spoke with the people in control of Forest Management. They told us some stories about how the Yakamas have always been like family to the Spokane Indians. Yakama's relation to the spokane Indians go back to wars of the late 1800s with chief kamiakin and the spokane chief. On the spokane reservation indian land own is up to 92 percent. Some of the problems that they are dealing with is that the remains of the elders that were buried by the rivers are now coming out of the ground floating in the river. Natives believed that the bodies still posses powers because they were buried with the love of their loved ones. Also many ancient artifacts are being moved too. The priceless artifacts are being lifted out of the ground and floating down the river. Some of the tools that were found dated back to as early as 8,500 BCE. This is a serious problem that the Spokane Indians are facing. They also fear that the graves will be lost. Most of the spokane tribes are river tribes. This means that all year around they lived on the river. After the dams were put it it raised the water level and covered up the old long houses and to be forever under water. After the introduction, we left for Tshimikain river where we collected fish. The way we did that was we used an electrical thing that stunned the fish and we used nets to catch the fish. It was fun until I got all wet from the water. They made us hamburgers for lunch and they hit the spot. Also there I learned that salmon are changing white in the river instead of pink. This is caused by the change of what they eat. Land lock fish are fish that never make it out to the ocean. And ocean salmon are pink from the shrimp that they eat. Also the taste of the salmon are very different too. most salmon that come through the Tshimiksin river become land lock because the streams are to difficult for the salmon to swim up. This can be because of the rivers drying out or just no way to get to the top of the river. Overall today was a good day of learning and I cannot wait for more.
Today we woke and had the same bowl of cereal for the last week. As you may know eating cereal gets very old, but it is still better than nothing. Also today we are going to make some natural paints from clay. It was very fun and I enjoeyed painting. Learing how the natives painted back in the day was the cool part. We also learned how to grind up the mineral into a small pounder for the paints. We used milk and other ingredients to make the paint. I got a bearpaw painted on my forearm it was pretty cool looking. After that we got to eat some of the foods that are used to display what foods are used. Lastly we started packing up and heading for the land of the spokane indian reservation, located in Wellpinit. the drive was about a good 3 hours. We stopped at Arby's and ordered some food for the long drive. When we arrived at the reservation we just put up our campsite and just got ready for bed. So overall it was just a long day of traveling.
In the morning we woke up and had another awesome bowl. I'am really getting tired of cereal, but food is food. I would rather eat it than starve. Today we are packing up and leaving to the Umatilla reservation to meet up with the members of the environmental agency. We drove 4 hours from the Nez perce reservation to arrive at the Umatilla reservation. Driving there was a drag because the heat just made everybody on edge. I fell asleep the whole way there and it felt great. So we arrived at the Umatilla reservation. Wenix Red-elk waited for us to meet at the Department of natural Resources. When there we all sat in the nice meeting room. During the introduction, Wenix Red-elk went over the importance of the food that the people have gathered for many of generations and are now going to be extinct in a couple of years. The foods consisted of water, salmon, deer, roots, and huckleberries. These are the main course during a Umatilla first feast. Also the amount of land that the tribe had lost through the signing of the 1855 treaty. Many of the Umatilla natives have always traveled throughout the land and now they live on a reservation that now is just a small piece of land in the oregon state. After the meeting we left Pendleton and headed for a work site that was in process off being restored. The reason for this was because the river would flood every year. The americans that built the railroads did not like that because the water would tear up the tracks. So the americans built these levees to stop the river. That affects todays river because the salmon cannot survive in the river. After that Wenix Red-elk had accompanied us to her house and that is where we camped for the night and roasted marshmallows.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Our first morning of camping in the town of Wallowa was very nice because there was not as much dirt, just grass. We woke up at 6:00am and left around 7:00am to go with the Nez Perce fisheries Manager. It was really chilly this morning I forgot my sweater in my tent. We went to the Lostine river. There was a small fish hatchery that had prevented the extinction of the fish that lived in the river. We talked with the Nez perce fisheries employees. There they informed us that many of the salmon habitats are being destroyed by the dams on the columbia river. Also the salmon that come through the ladder at the hatchery, were being tested on by the scientist. During those tests they measured the length, the age, and the weight. They even put a tracker on the fish which would track them through their whole life span. Some salmon were traced as far as Alaska. This is important because if we can find the routes that salmon take. Maybe they can figure out where the salmon are getting stuck at. Also to track where they go to spawn and compare it to the last generation of salmon. This program is funded by the Bonneville Dam Association. That means that the dam is trying to help restore the affects of the dams that were put all along the columbia. After we left the fish hatchery we went to the manager's office and where comes up with the weeks plan to trying to bring back the salmon population. Also there he showed us around the complex, and offices. He introduced what they do to bring back the salmon population. Also all the vehicles that are used to travel the rough terrane of the mountains. They for lunch we went to Wallowa lake. They we went swimming and the water was like perfect temperature. The water was clear, but we only had like 30 minutes to swim and that is not a lot of time for anybody to swim. I enjoyed the lake, but after that we went to the pow wow grounds and there they had a feast.That is where we had lunch at. The food was awesome. They served buffalo, elk, moose, and salmon. There were tons of people that wanted to eat. After that we had a elder speak to us about his time in on the reservation and how it changed since then. His name is Elmer Crow, he is a artiest in making old indian weapons. He even had some jewelry that he made out of ram horns. They were very beautiful, He only traded for other items. He could also make a bow out of wood and he made them from a piece of wood. Overall it was a good day and I have learned a lot of new information.