Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation

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Cultural History

The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation are almost quite related to the other native inhabitants of the Columbia River Plateau in the sense that they have quite the same tradition and culture. The Yakama people thrived in salmon which they caught along the Columbia River. Berries from the nearby mountains also served as part of their diet. In the late 1805 or in early 1806, the tribe encountered the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was during the time when the Yakima River merges with the Columbia River. The merging of the rivers came upon the resolution of a consequence. The Yakima War and the Walla Walla Council engaged in hostility bringing upon the tribe to move out of their original homelands. The Yakima War was led by one of their world renowned chiefs, Chief Kamiakin. The movement of the tribe led to their present reservation. The war ended in the year 1855 thus spelling out the dramatic move for the tribe. The Treaty of 1855 likewise identified the other fourteen tribes and bands of the Yakama. The identification of the tribes and bands included the Yakama, Palouse, Pisquouse, Wenatshapam, Klikatat, Klinquit, Kow-was-say-ee, Li-ay-was, Skin-pah, Wish-ham, Shyiks, Ochechotes, Kah-milt-pay, and the Se-ap-cat who were confederated tribes and bands of Indians. These were the bands and the tribes who were then occupying lands hereinafter as bounded and described and are in the Washington Territory. These nations were to be considered as one nation as stated in the treaty. All these tribes and bands were to be known as Yakama. Yakama was the new name derived from their old name which us Yakima in the year 1994. The name was changed in order for the people to reflect the native pronunciation of the name.
The native tongue of the tribe is of the northwestern dialect. The Sahaptin, which is a Sahaptian language coming from the Plateau Penutian family is the most common language in the area. The name has been regarded in the years to be used as a traditional Yakama name and gave the language its new name which is, "lchishkiin Sinwit". The new usage has been keenly promoted by the tribal Cultural Resources program in order for them to supersede the word Sahaptin. Sahaptim literally means "Stranger in the Land".
The Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation has more than 10,000 enrolled members who are residing in their lands in Washington. The reservation is found along the Yakima River which encompasses an area of not less that 1.3 million acres. The tribe is currently governed by the Yakama Tribal Council composed of 14 tribes and bands. The tribe has several ceremonies as part of their rich and colorful tradition.
The tribe is currently into business ventures. Some of their enterprises include casinos, hotels and resorts. They also own educational and health facilities which all bring about the tribal revenues every year.

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