Emily Washines was 18 years old when she was crowned Miss National Congress of American Indians. Yakama tribal councilmembers and elders sung a warrior song for her and then extracted a promise.
"After I got a pageant title, [they said] we want to talk to you about who Yakama women are," Washines said. "I thought, 'Oh gosh. There is going to come cooking lessons or something.'"
But tribal leaders had something else in mind. They wanted Washines to remember a message about a little-known war that wracked the Pacific Northwest in the 1850s.