Natural Restoration and Cultural Knowledge of the Yakama Nation
Authors: Emily Washines and Gerald Peltier
Tribes: Confederated Tribes of Yakama
After a 70 year absence, the wapato (potato) returned to the reservation of The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Yakama Nation). As a result of agricultural diversion, the water table was lowered and an imbalance in nature occurred. A shift in nature also contributed to a shift in the cultural foods and plants available. As students work through Part I of this case they will learn about the Yakama Nation and evaluate eating lifestyles. Student groups will be assigned one of the key roles of land restoration. Each group will create a storyboard to visually tell the actions of their respective role. In Part II of the case, students will explore the cultural knowledge of natural restoration and cultural foods. A video “The Return of the Wapato,” accompanies this case. This case provides an opportunity to learn how the Yakama Nation restores tribal land areas to historical use and ultimately protects the resources for those not yet born.