Oregon Governor Kate Brown was in Warm Springs yesterday afternoon (1/31/19) for a meeting with Tribal Council.
One of the reasons for the Government to Government meeting was so she could disavow the Huntington Treaty of 1865 and to assist the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in having the Huntington Treaty disavowed at the federal level as well.
The Treaty of 1855 created the Warm Springs Reservation and after the treaty was ratified in 1859, the tribes moved on to the reservation, but continued to fish at Celilo and travel throughout the upper Deschutes country for hunting, gathering, trading, and visiting distant friends and relations. In the years after the signing of the 1855 treaty, there were several infringements on the original understanding that constituted bad faith on the part of the federal government. The first of these was the so-called Huntington Treaty of 1865, which ostensibly limited tribal members’ freedom of movement off the Warm Springs Reservation.
As the 1969 Belloni decision and subsequent court decisions have held, the terms of the 1865 treaty were not legal and they were not honored in practice. However the Treaty Remains on record and yesterday’s announcement by Governor Brown is a first step in setting the record straight.
Like many communities throughout the country, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is suffering from the devastating effects of prescription opioid abuse. Last week, the Tribe filed a lawsuit in federal court naming as defendants those entities that it believes are responsible for the harm caused to it and its members. The Tribe anticipates that its case will be transferred to the Northern District of Ohio where it will join similar lawsuits already pending in that court.In an official news release, the Tribe says any estimates about the amount of damages that the Tribe may recover if it prevails in the litigation are premature. The Tribe does not yet have an estimate of the magnitude of the harm that it and its members have suffered as a result of this crisis.
The 2018 Warm Springs off-reservation and on-reservation subsistence hunting has ended and the Wildlife Department is now gathering hunter harvest data. Any tribal members who were issued tags for the 2018 subsistence hunts need to report as soon as possible. This is whether you hunted or not, and whether you harvested an animal or not.
The 39th Annual Central Oregon Farm Fair and Trade Show is coming up next week at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Over thirty vendors are anticipated and there will be experts on a variety of subjects that impact agriculture in central Oregon. The sessions will include: the Basin Water Report and Outlook, Spotted Frog Impacts, Research Updates, and a session on hemp. Entry and lunches are free and open to the public. You can see a complete agenda at jeffcoseed.com. The Central Oregon Farm Fair and Trade Show will be on Wednesday and Thursday 9am to 4:30pm at the fairgrounds in Madras.