native americans

Spokane Indians Baseball Club

Football season has kicked off another round of scrutiny over how professional sports teams use Native American mascots. But in eastern Washington, a minor league baseball team has earned the approval of its native namesake.

Avista Stadium in Spokane is full of the familiar sights, sounds and smells of baseball. And then, there are things that might make you do a double take.

Re-branding in two languages

North Idaho Set To Begin Negotiations Over Water Rights

Aug 20, 2014
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The state of Idaho is preparing to establish water rights in the northern part of the state. It's a relatively water-abundant area, not prone to the sort of conflicts that have erupted elsewhere like Oregon's Klamath Basin.

Coeur d'Alene Tribe

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in Idaho is asking for information that will lead to the person who wrote “white power” and other racist messages on a reservation historical marker over the weekend.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs wants to rewrite the rules for when a native tribe is officially a tribe in the eyes of the federal government. This again raises hopes for status and federal benefits among some unrecognized tribes in the West, but they still face a bumpy road.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

For centuries, Native Americans from Boise to Wenatchee to the southern Oregon coast have harvested Pacific lamprey, colloquially called eels. The ugly-looking critter resembles an eel, but it is actually a primitive fish with a distinctive, toothy suction cup mouth.

Mary Randlett

It started with the discovery of long-forgotten gravestones in a thicket of bramble and alder. That set one author on the faint trail of a feisty Native American woman and oyster farmer who lived in 19th century western Washington.

Katie Campbell / KCTS

 Billy Frank Jr., a legendary champion of tribal treaty rights and Northwest salmon restoration, died Monday. He was 83 years old.

MrPanyGoff / Wikimedia

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Two skeletons found upstream of the cracked Wanapum Dam have been handed over to Northwest tribes.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the Northwest, Native Americans have caught and traded fish along the banks of the Columbia River for eons. Nowadays, natives sell just-caught fish out of coolers roadside.

Clean Slate For Tribal Fishing Rights Protesters?

Jan 15, 2014
Taylor Winkel / Northwest News Network

Around 40 to 50 years ago, American Indians in Western Washington were repeatedly arrested during protests over treaty fishing rights.

White House

Tribal leaders from the Northwest and around the country had the opportunity Wednesday to tell the Obama Administration what they want in the coming year.

Tribal Casinos Move Into New Territory: High-End Luxury

Sep 20, 2013
Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Tribal casinos are trying to appeal to a new kind of customer – one who may not even gamble at all. 

Kitzhaber Vetoes Native American Mascot Bill

Aug 16, 2013
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has vetoed a bill that would ease a ban on Native American mascots. It was the last bill the Democrat needed to act on following this year's legislative session.

Fifteen Oregon schools use Native American mascots like Warriors, Indians and Braves. Last year, the state Board of Education voted to give those schools until 2017 to get rid of them.

But Oregon lawmakers voted last month to allow school districts to keep their mascots if the nearest American Indian tribe agrees. The governor's veto pen nullifies that move.

Bill Barrett, Wikimedia. A view of Kerr Dam with the gates at full open in June 2011.

The Northwest hydropower system is full of dams that were built over the strenuous objections of Native American tribes. Now, two of these old projects are changing ownership -- one in Western Montana and another in central Oregon.

And it’s the tribes that were once powerless to stop them that are becoming the new managers.

The Kerr Dam went up on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the 1930s. It’s north of Missoula. Homesteaders and farmers used it for irrigation and it still generates electricity to this day.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is signaling his intent to veto a bill that would ease a ban on Native American mascots.

The Democrat issued a formal veto threat Wednesday.

Fifteen Oregon schools use Native American mascots like Warriors, Indians and Braves. Last year, the state Board of Education voted to give those schools until 2017 to get rid of them.

Sandy White Shield / Inter Tribal Buffalo Council

Northwest Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation stretches across 1.5 million acres. But it turns out that isn’t enough room for the free-roaming bison herd that tribes are attempting to establish. Northwest Native Americans are hoping restored buffalo herds may reopen ancient trade and cultural traditions.

Most American bison were exterminated more than 100 years ago. Now, tribes across the country are trying to coordinate with Canada, the federal government, states and even private ranchers to once again bring herds back to the Western landscape.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers have ignored a threatened veto and approved a measure to relax a ban on Native American-themed school mascots. The Senate Monday gave final approval to the bill, which would allow school districts to keep their mascots if the nearest American Indian tribe agrees.

That would reverse a decision by the Oregon Board of Education to ban such mascots by 2017. Governor John Kitzhaber told legislative leaders he doesn't support the proposed change.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

For thousands of years, Northwest tribes have used the Columbia River as a regional center of commerce. For the first time this summer, they’re building a new venue for their ancient tradition – a native-owned seafood shop.

Fresh catch

A silvery shad slips into an icy bath. Its tail flashes twice as it descends deeper into the chilly water. The fish was netted from the Columbia just moments ago. It’s so fresh it’s still kicking.

SALEM, Ore. - Some Oregon public schools may soon be allowed to keep their Native American mascots. The state Senate voted Wednesday in favor of overturning a ban on names like “Chiefs” and “Braves.” The Oregon Board of Education adopted the ban last year.

The legislation says that if a school reaches an agreement with a local tribe, the use of the Native American mascot and imagery is not an act discrimination.

Republican Senator Jeff Kruse argues that these symbols are ubiquitous and non-offensive.

MISSION, Ore. – When Louisville plays Connecticut in the NCAA women’s championship Tuesday, fans in Northwest Indian country will be cheering. That’s because two Native American sisters are leading the Louisville Cardinals and they hail from a reservation in northeast Oregon.

In Mission, Oregon and nearby Pendleton it’s pretty clear basketball’s a big deal. There are basketball camp names embroidered on people’s jackets, team bumper stickers are everywhere and lately – there have been a whole lot of house parties.

Oregon Considers Lifting Ban On Native American Mascots

Apr 3, 2013

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon tribal members are lobbying state lawmakers to uphold a ban on Native American mascots in schools. A committee in Salem heard testimony Wednesday on a bill to overturn a ban on names like “Braves” or “Chiefs”.

Last year the Oregon Board of Education voted to phase out American Indian themed mascots in public schools. This bill would allow schools to use names associated with a specific tribe, as long as that tribe approves.

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