A family-owned company with timber operations in the U.S. and New Zealand called Port Blakely Companies has returned waterfront property and tidelands on Little Skookum Inlet in Washington's Mason County to the Squaxin Island Tribe, at no cost.
The massive infrastructure bill signed earlier this year promises to bring change to Native American tribes that lack clean water or indoor plumbing through the largest single infusion of money into Indian Country.
Like interlaced fingers, the Inabas and the Yakama Nation have been collaborating to farm for generations. Now, this Japanese-American family, who owned and leased the land for a time, is returning it to the Yakama Nation.
The largest wetland restoration project on the lower Columbia River is reconstructing 965 acres of floodplain habitat and re-establishing native plants like wapato, a prized Native American first food that tastes like potato.
Native Americans are more than twice as likely to experience violent crimes compared to all other races in the U.S. In Oregon, there are at least 19 unsolved cases of missing or murdered Indigenous people. And now, a national program created through the Department of Justice is trying to address the problem with tribal outreach and data research. OPB spoke with Cedar Wilkie Gillette, the state's first appointed Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator, to find out more.
Derek Kimbol, a Klamath Modoc tribal member, described the history: “The women that used to pick the huckleberries, which we call iwam, they would burn — every four years — the huckleberry stands to bring back more iwam."