Yakama Tribe Essay

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I have always felt close to the Yakama Indians. My grandma even said she thought I could have been part of their tribe when the doctor placed me into my mother’s arms the day I was born. I was born in Yakima, Washington on November 29, 1983. Before I turned two, my parents decided to move back to California. When I was four or five, we traveled back up to Yakima to visit friends, but the only thing I remember from the trip is me and my younger sister throwing crayons out the window of my dad’s truck. Because I was born in Yakima, I have always wanted to learn about the people who gave the city its name. I have come to learn that the Yakama were a peaceful people, thriving off of the riches of the great Columbia River. Like most of the native people in North America, life as the Yakamas knew it changed overnight once they encountered the white man. And like most of the native people in North America, they too were forced to live on a reservation and give up generations-old traditions. Sadly, not much has been written about the Yakama Indians and we know little about them. This paper will focus on where the Yakama tribe is from, their encounters with the white man, and what has become of them. The Yakama Indians are considered Plateau Indians. The term Plateau Indians is taken from the name of the Columbia Plateau. “The Columbia…show more content…
“Other Sahaptian peoples-Klickitat, Palouse, and Wanapam, plus the Chinookian-speaking Whishram-also were settled there” (Waldman, 268). While on the reservation, the Yakama continued to fish area rivers, just as their ancestors once had, but the construction of dams on the Columbia River altered the Yakama way of life and led to legal activism by the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Indian Nation concerning fishing rights. The Yakama-Klickitat Fish Production Project, which began in the 1990’s, is an attempt to rebuild endangered fish runs (Waldman,
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