Enduring Legacies Native Case Studies

Tribe

Confederated Tribes of Yakama


New!Should Tribes Legalize Marijuana?

Author:Amber Seachord and Barbara Leigh Smith

Marijuana legalization has been gaining momentum in the United States in recent years, yet heated controversies continue to surround the issue. The central focus of this case is on the question of whether tribes should legalize marijuana.  The case begins by briefly describing the history of marijuana, what is known about its impact, and the changing policies at the state and federal level. It then discusses the various ways tribes are exploring the “opportunity,” the ways they might become involved in the marijuana business, and the pros and cons of various forms of tribal involvement.  

New!The Yakama Nation and the Cleanup of Hanford: Contested Meanings of Environmental Remediation

Author:Daniel A. Bush

In 1988 the former Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington was designated a Superfund site, and the federal government assumed the responsibility to clean the area of contaminants and toxic waste and make it safe for human use. This case investigates the complex relationship of Native Americans to that cleanup effort. More specifically it looks at the role of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation in the cleanup process, and while doing so raises questions about environmental security, justice and ethics, contested concepts of the cleanup and its aftermath, and severe challenges regarding treaty rights and obligations.

Natural Restoration and Cultural Knowledge of the Yakama Nation

Author:Emily Washines and Gerald Peltier

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.

Salmon and Contamination in the Columbia River

Author:Lambert, Lori

Thousands of years ago the lands and rivers around Celilo Falls were huge trading areas where as many as 5000 people would come to trade for Salmon. It was a time for abundance and socialization. In the later part of the 1950s, after the development of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia, the tribal people lost the sacred falls, their Salmon, and their way of life. Today, the Columbia River is used as a major transportation artery as well as a source of hydroelectric power. The waters of the Columbia River are contaminated, dams have slowed the flow of the river, and in some cases the migration of the Salmon is impeded. The Salmon are contaminated with hundreds of toxins and the people who eat them are suffering from cancer and other ailments.