Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Makah Indian Tribe
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January 2014

Makah: Tribal member speaks on water treaty rights on Wednesday - Makah tribal member Micah McCarty will open the Peninsula College Longhouse Lecture Series on Wednesday (Dec. 4). He will speak in the Longhouse on the college's Port Angeles campus from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. about water treaty rights.

December 2013

Makah: ‘Dynamic’ Makah elder dies in head-on crash; other driver in critical condition - A Makah elder was killed and a Sekiu woman was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with major leg injuries Wednesday after a head-on collision between two cars on state Highway 112. Mary Jo Butterfield, 81, of Neah Bay was pronounced dead at Forks Community Hospital, the State Patrol confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

Makah: Injured Sekiu woman’s condition upgraded; tribal elder’s services set Tuesday - A Sekiu woman injured in a Wednesday head-on collision on state Highway 112 had been upgraded from critical to serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle as of Saturday. Randee R. Murdoch, 23, was hurt in a two-car wreck that proved fatal for Mary Jo Butterfield, 81, a Makah elder and community leader who lived in Neah Bay.

October 2013

Makah: Filmmaker Fights Stereotypes One Story At A Time - Sandy Osawa is a local filmmaker and a member of the Makah Tribe. She and her husband, Yasu Osawa, have been creating documentaries for four decades. They have produced more than 65 videos, including five PBS documentaries. But for the Osawas, this is not a business. It's a battle. They use film to fight society's images of American Indian people.

Makah: Photographer captures Makah moments - Meredith Parker, who is general manager of the Makah tribe, lives in Neah Bay, where she seeks to capture her community’s history as it is made. She photographs the Makah Days celebration every August and the Canoe Journey each July, as well as numerous weddings and gatherings of family and friends.

Makah: Tribe plans golf course, new cabins - The Makah tribe continues to add economic development in Neah Bay and is working on a nine-hole golf course to increase tourism and recreational opportunities. New activities and more accommodations for visitors is a large part of the tribe's current focus, Mike Rainey, enterprise business manager for the Makah tribal government, told an audience of about 40 at a Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon Monday at the Red Lion Hotel.

August 2013

Makah: Tribe nets grant to build longhouse-style pavilion - Makah tribal members have a half-million reasons to celebrate after a national organization awarded the tribe a $500,000 grant to build a community-designed longhouse-style pavilion. Tribal officials hope to see construction start next summer. “We have the check in hand already, so we’re ready to move forward,” said Crystal Hottowe, grantwriter for the Makah tribe.

Makah: Feds to help with tribal land buyback program - The Interior Department says it is ready to start a program to help Native American tribes buy parcels of reservation land that have accumulated multiple owners, including the Makah tribe on the North Olympic Peninsula. Comment: On the Quinault Reservation, they are also evidently helping the Quinault Tribe to steal allotments from individual land owners. I have walked three allotments the Quinaults say no longer exist, and that therefore belong, now, to the Quinault Tribe. It is not well known that there are actually 3 tribes resident on the Quinault Reservation: Quinault, Queets and Hoh. I have walked 3 allotments on the Queets River that the Quinaults claim were consumed by the river. I've seen very accurate historical Metsker maps that clearly show the allotment owners names. The river, which is non-navigable, has shifted and if anything it has made these 3 allotments bigger. But the Quinaults are claiming the opposite happened, and they have taken the allotments. Given their proximity to the Queets village, however, if any tribe was going to have a legitimate excuse to steal land from individual land owners on the north end of the reservation, it should be the Queets, not the Quinault.

June 2013

Makah: EPA proposes to add Makah Reservation Warmhouse Beach dump to federal Superfund cleanup list - Seattle -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to add the Warmhouse Beach dump, on the Makah Reservation, in Neah Bay, Washington, to the Superfund National Priorities List. The proposed cleanup listing includes a public comment period from May 23 through July 23, 2013.

May 2013

Duwamish-Makah: Osawa documentary 0screened in Forks - “Princess Angeline”, a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Sandy Johnson Osawa and her husband, Yasu Osawa, will be screened at the Forks Extension of Peninsula College on Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. Osawa is a member of the Makah Tribe, a graduate of Port Angeles High School, and has had six documentaries broadcast over the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) as well as other networks.

Makah: US Coast Guard and Makah Tribe Sign Agreement - The U.S. Coast Guard and Makah Tribal Council signed a Memorandum of Agreement to reaffirm their integral partnership, cooperation and coordination in pollution prevention and response during a ceremony at the Jackson Federal Building, April 12, 2013.

Makah: State to begin health tests of popular Peninsula saltwater beaches - The state soon will begin testing popular saltwater beaches for bacteria to prevent people from getting sick from playing in the water. Makah reservation beaches — Dakwas Park, East Front Street, Hobuck, Sooes, Third, Neah Bay and Warmhouse Beach — also are on the list to be tested.

Makah: Animal Rights, Imperialism and Indigenous Hunting - Western society has found it necessary to create specific ‘animal rights’ as a response to its treatment of animals, while most indigenous peoples have always been aware of the fact that animals, like humans, are sentient beings which should be respected.

Makah: CG, Makah Tribe Sign Memorandum of Agreement - The U.S. Coast Guard and Makah Tribal Council signed a Memorandum of Agreement to reaffirm their integral partnership, cooperation and coordination in pollution prevention and response during a ceremony at the Jackson Federal Building, April 12.

Makah: Pact a first on several fronts - The memorandum of agreement, or MOA, signed Friday is the first written statement of the working relationship between the Makah and the Coast Guard, who collaborate in preventing and responding to oil spills in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

April 2013

Makah: Neah Bay life shown through lens - A leviathan rising from the Pacific Ocean, the expanse of Hobuck Beach, young Makah men and women performing their traditional dances . . . “Images, from the Beginning . . .” shows life in Neah Bay through the lens of a woman who loves this place. The exhibit of two dozen photographs by Meredith Parker — an artist, writer and the general manager of the Makah tribe — opened Sunday, March 24th at the Makah Cultural and Research Center, 1880 Bayview Ave., with a public reception from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Makah: Crop researcher heads to US - A Massey University researcher will travel to the United States to better understand the history of taewa (Maori potato), kumara and Indian corn. Dr Nick Roskruge was awarded a Fulbright Travel Scholarship that will see him based at Cornell University in New York state for two months, beginning in April. Roskruge will travel across the US to Washington state to meet with the Makah Native Americans in Neah Bay, near the Canadian border.

March 2013

Makah: New transfer station lifts Makahs out of the dumps - The Makah reservation’s old dump poses a serious environmental threat, but its closure hinged on replacing it with something better.

Makah: Chief Seattle's daughter topic of documentary - Filmmaker Sandra Johnson Osawa, a member of the Makah tribe who now lives in Seattle, made two appearances when her documentary “Princess Angeline” was screened at Peninsula College and the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center. She talked about the film documenting the life of Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle, and her work.

Makah: Tribe is finalist for $750,000 grant - The Makah tribe is one step closer to securing funding for a communal space and longhouse proposed for Neah Bay after being named one of 105 finalists for a $750,000 grant from a national collaboration of nonprofit foundations.

January 2013

Makah: Jobs vs. the environment at Seattle hearing on coal trains - A proposal to ship coal through Seattle by rail drew hundreds of opponents and supporters to downtown on Thursday, as both sides attended a public hearing at the Seattle Convention Center. A representative of the Makah Tribe told opponents that the coal shipments would interfere with sacred grounds and would violate the government's treaty obligations with the sovereign tribe.

December 2012

Makah: Prevention Fund Helps Tribe Awaken Sleeping "Ways of Wellness" - The Makah tribe of Washington is one of more than 60 cities, counties, states, tribes and nonprofit groups that received Community Transformation Grants totaling $107 million last year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The money for these grants came from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a funding arm of the Affordable Care Act established to combat disease and lower healthcare costs by promoting wellness and prevention.

Makah: Tribe replaces culvert with bridge over Grimes Creek - The Makah tribe is working to improve salmon habitat on Grimes Creek in the Tsoo-Yess River watershed by replacing a fish-blocking culvert with a 60-foot-long bridge.

November 2012

Makah: Centuries of oral tradition make Indian tribes and indigenous islanders better prepared to deal with seaquakes and tsunamis. - On the day of the Great Shake-Out earlier this month, the children at the Makah tribal school joined students, city workers and business people across the country in a simulated earthquake. By all accounts, the Makah tribe at least is well-primed for disaster. “The Makah people have been here for thousands of years because they were able to take care of themselves,” said Andrew Winck, the tribe’s emergency management coordinator. “We work to be self-reliant.”

Makah: Filmmaker screens biography of Maria Tallchief - The untold story of Maria Tallchief, who rose from an Indian community in Oklahoma to become America's first prima ballerina, comes to life when Peninsula College's Magic of Cinema screens Sandy Osawa's PBS documentary on the legendary dancer at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in Maier Performance Hall on campus. Osawa, a member of the Makah Nation and graduate of Port Angeles High School, devotes her films to presenting alternative images of Native Americans. Now based in Seattle, Osawa looks forward to showing the film in her own hometown area.

October 2012

Makah: Tribal chair honored by Oregon environmental nonprofit - The chairman of the Makah Tribal Council is one of five indigenous tribal leaders from across the Western U.S. recognized by a Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit for their work to improve the lives and economic situations of their homelands and people. Portland-based Ecotrust has named Micah McCarty, Makah Tribal Council chairman, as one of four honorees for the 11th annual Indigenous Leadership Awards, which will be presented at a ceremony and traditional feast at the Portland Art Museum on Nov. 13. McCarty joins three other honorees from outside Washington state and mish tribe Chairman Brian Cladoosby, who won the 2012 Indigenous Leadership Award. Ecotrust will give the four honorees each $5,000 and Cladoosby $25,000 for their work in their communities.

Makah: Scientists Adopt Tiny Island as a Warming Bellwether - Tatoosh Island has been the object of intense biological scrutiny, and scientists say they are seeing disturbing declines across species — changes that could prove a bellwether for oceanic change globally.

Makah: Council of Energy Resource Tribes Enters $3 Billion Biofuels and Bioenergy Agreement - The Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT), an Inter-Tribal organization comprised of 54 U.S. tribes and four First Nation Treaty Tribes of Canada, has entered into a long-term development agreement for up to $3 billion in biofuels and bioenergy projects. Now CERT has approved the “Thunderbird” project, which involves the development of a variety of feedstocks with multiple technologies over the next 10-15 years on Indian lands. Leading the project are CERT; BioJet, a supply chain integrator that’s developing a worldwide renewable jet fuel business along with byproducts such as specialty chemicals; and Tartoosh Environmental, owned by Robert Martin, an enrolled member of the Makah Tribe, offering LEED-certified energy efficient construction and retrofitting, environmental toxin remediation and litigation, and alternative energy production on tribal lands.

Makah: Totem pole at Red Mill Totem House in Seattle looks better than ever near Ballard Locks - Seattle's Ballard neighborhood has a restaurant that shows the work of a master totem pole craftsman. The Red Mill Totem House, located across the street from the parking lot for the Ballard Locks, is again decked out with a beautiful totem, thanks to the work of Greg Colfax of Neah Bay, Wash., a member of the Makah Tribe.

September 2012

Makah: Tribe reviving old tradition: war canoe races - This weekend’s war canoe races at the Makah Days Celebration was the final race meet of the year and finished off an outstanding year for the Makah’s 13-and-younger, “Little Bucks” crew, said Dale Johnson, skipper of the Makah men's war canoe crew and coach of the youth crews. Many of the Makah Little Bucks also fill in empty seats in the tribe’s smaller 16-and-younger “Big Bucks” crew, along with three older members, Johnson said. War canoe racing dates back to as long as 120 years ago, when tribes on the inland waterways of the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound areas

Makah: Clallam, Jefferson delegates to head to national gathering - Two Clallam County Democrats will help nominate Barack Obama this week at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Sylvia Hancock of Sequim and Joe McGimpsey of Neah Bay are among the 120 delegates from Washington — including two from Jefferson County — who will nominate the president to a second term. McGimpsey, a Makah tribal member, returns to the political limelight 20 years after his appearance as a delegate at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York City.

Makah: Tribe to get $1 million grant to build housing for tribe’s most vulnerable - The Makah Tribal Housing Department will receive $1,179,000 to construct the Sail River Longhouse, 21 apartment units to be built in Sail River Heights, a tribal housing development begun in 2007. Residents will be selected among tribal members who have had difficulty maintaining housing due to domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or mental health issues.

Makah: Tribe to celebrate heritage in annual festival - Racing “war canoes” will ride the waves in friendly competition, fireworks will light up the sky, and dances, games and crafts will be shared this weekend during the Makah Days celebration. The annual Makah Days festival begins August 23. 2012, and will continue through Saturday and Sunday at Neah Bay.

Makah: Salmon bake, canoe races wrap Makah Days festival - Canoes races, a salmon bake and a street fair are among the pleasures offered during the final day of Makah Days today. The annual celebration of Makah heritage in Neah Bay — which is at the western end of state Highway 112 — ends today after beginning Friday.

July 2012

Makah: Tribes start receiving settlement money; Makah are beneficiaries of $25 million - Some Native American tribes have started receiving their shares of a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. government over mismanagement of their money and trust lands, while others are waiting and remain undecided on what to do with their funds. The Makah tribe in Neah Bay — one of 44 tribes across the nation who are receiving money from the settlement — is receiving $25 million.

Makah: Makah buy timberland with half of $25 million U.S. settlement - The Makah tribe has made its first purchase using funds from a $25 million settlement with the federal government by buying land for harvesting timber, Tribal Chairman Micah McCarty said Tuesday. The tribe spent $12.5 million of the funds for about 3,000 acres near Lake Ozette in the Umbrella Creek watershed within the Olympic Range Tree Farm, which is owned by a Boston corporation, Tribal General Manager Meri Parker said.

June 2012

Makah: Neah Bay teacher helps his students to stride into future - The teacher up there doesn’t look so much older than his students. And he remembers, so clearly, what it felt like to be a teenager way out on the continent’s far corner on the Makah Reservation, surrounded by your extended family. But the Neah Bay High School where Wilson Arnold, 34, taught this year is a long way from the one he graduated from in 1996.

Makah: Tribe wins $1 million federal grant to replace aging commercial dock - The Makah tribe will receive a $1 million federal Economic Development Administration grant to help design and permit a new fishing dock, warehouse and related office building to replace key, aging facilities, the U.S. Department of Commerce said this week.

May 2012

Makah: Restart of whaling study disappoints Makah chairman - The federal government’s announcement this week that it is scrapping a 7-year-old draft environmental study on the impact of Makah tribal whaling and will write a new impact statement in light of “substantial new scientific information” was a letdown for tribal Chairman Micah McCarty. Comment: In exchange for ceded land, among other concessions, whaling is guaranteed to the Makah by treaty. If the federal government will not honor the treaty (big surprise!), then it should give the ceded land back.

Makah: U.S. halts Makah whaling study after seven years over 'new scientific information' - A 7-year-old study on the potential environmental impact of Makah whaling is being ditched, the federal government announced. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service and Department of Commerce issued a “notice to terminate” the draft environmental impact statement Monday. Tribal Chairman Micah McCarty said Monday the Neah Bay-based tribe may release a prepared statement about the federal notice.

Makah: Ozette potato brings flavor, Northwest history to your garden - Originally picked up by Spaniards in South America, the Ozette potato came on ships sent to establish beachheads on the west coast of America. The native people of the area, members of the Makah tribe, found the potatoes in the overgrown gardens of the settlement and propagated them, naming this new food after one of the five villages in the area of Neah Bay.

Hoh-Makah-Quileute-Quinault: Coastal tribes create national symposium on climate change - The inaugural First Stewards symposium, to be held July 17-20 in Washington, D.C. is a national event that examines the impact of climate change on indigenous coastal cultures and explores solutions based on of traditional ecological knowledge. The Hoh, Makah and Quileute tribes and the Quinault Indian Nation created the symposium because indigenous coastal people are among the most affected by climate change.

April 2012

Makah: 'Confessions Of An Eco-Terrorist': Peter Jay Brown Chronicles Controversial Marine Activist Group - Sea Shepherd staged multiple publicity stunts in Neah Bay...The campaign is declared a success by Brown because "with so much media attention, there was no possible way the Makah could bring back commercial whaling as originally planned." The Makah's tribal council states on its website, however, "The antiwhaling community is very well organized and very well financed and puts out a steady stream of propaganda designed to denigrate our culture and play on human sympathy for all animals. Perhaps what is lost in all of their rhetoric is an appreciation of the value of preserving the culture of an American Indian Tribe."

Makah: Peninsula tribe to receive $25 million as part of federal settlement - The Makah tribe will receive $25 million from the federal government under the terms of a $1 billion settlement of a series of lawsuits brought by Native American tribes over mismanagement of tribal money and trust lands. “The settlement money is not a gift or windfall to the tribe,” said Michael J. Lawrence, vice chairman of the Makah Tribal Council, in a letter sent to members of the Makah tribe last week. Instead, Lawrence said, it “is an estimate of how much money was lost to the tribe through the United State's mismanagement of the Makah tribe's trust funds and breach of its trust responsibility.

Makah: Elder who opposed whaling dies at age 88 - Alberta Nora Thompson, a Makah elder who fiercely opposed whaling, died Wednesday at Avamere Olympic Health & Rehabilitation in Sequim. She was 88.

March 2012

Makah: Tiny Neah Bay school a finalist in national science competition - A group of Native American students from tiny Neah Bay, on the Olympic Peninsula, are finalists for a national $100,000 technology and software prize. The Neah Bay middle and high school students submitted a short documentary on the Makah Tribe’s use of mushrooms to clean diesel fuel-contaminated sand on Tatoosh Island, according to an announcement released by Washington STEM, a nonprofit science education organization that is working with the students.

February 2012

Makah: Neah Bay Award - Students from Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula are finalists in a $1 million national science and technology documentary contest for students and educators.

January 2012

Makah: Washington Outpost Draws Those Hungry for Slap of Sea Spray - What marks this area, the site of the most northwesterly piece of earth in the contiguous United States, with such a cumulative and commercially viable sense of extremity — of age and edge, of euphoria and gloom — is that you can actually get here and feel it all so honestly. And still catch the ferry home for dinner. As Meredith Parker, the general manager of the Makah Indian Nation (and the president of the new local chamber of commerce), put it, "We're accessibly remote." In the last few years, the tribe has created the Neah Bay Chamber of Commerce, named for the town of 900 where most people here live. It has paved the four-mile-long and previously gravel road to Cape Flattery, the nation’s northwestern corner, to make it easier for outsiders to make what one recent visitor called a "geographic pilgrimage."

Makah-Jamestown S’Klallam: Clallam County leaders vow self-improvement in new year - Clallam County civic and community leaders made both personal and professional pledges in their New Year’s resolutions, vowing everything from spending more time with family to listening better to reading more books. Being a compassionate friend and loving family member topped Makah tribe general manager Meredith Parker’s list. Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Chairman Ron Allen said he usually isn’t one for resolutions but plans to "find more time in my busy schedule to be with my first grandchild."

December 2011

Makah-Tulalip: Tribes Receive Funding for Engine Upgrades - More than $1.3 million in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants are going to Indian country in Washington state to upgrade boats with low-emission engines. The Makah Nation received $750,000 to upgrade nine commercial fishing vessels. The Tulalip Tribes received $576,525 to upgrade 13 vessels used for dive fisheries, gillnet fisheries, and for enforcement and rescue patrol.

Makah: Practice makes perfect as the Neah Bay girls basketball team eyes state title - Given all the talent on the Neah Bay girls basketball team this winter, and the unimposing schedule it will play, those scrimmages might be the most competitive games the Red Devils see until February.

Makah: Gas prices tumble, with Peninsula's lowest found in Sequim - As far west as you can go on state Highway 112, Neah Bay's Makah Mini Mart was selling unleaded gas for $3.61 a gallon, before the tribal discount of 35 cents a gallon. Haley McCarty, the Makah tribe’s gas station and store manager, said, "We don’t have a large markup because that’s what’s mandated by the tribal council."

Makah-Quileute: More Japanese debris reported - A large black float found two weeks ago on a beach east of Neah Bay was most likely the first piece of identifiable wreckage that had washed up on West Coast beaches from a massive magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11th. The floats were the topic of much discussion on Thursday, said Janine Bowechop, director of the Makah Cultural & Research Center. Jackie Jacobs, spokeswoman for the Quileute tribal emergency management team, asking that community members and visitors contact law enforcement or the local Coast Guard if they find possible debris from the Japanese tsunami.

Makah: Community celebration for Neah Bay’s state football championship - The community celebration for Neah Bay High School’s first football championship is scheduled for Monday night. The Makah community celebration and dinner is set for the Makah Tribal Center gymnasium in the center of town at 5:30 p.m.

Makah: Elder Blanchard Matte dies at 77 - Funeral will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Assembly of God Church, 220 Third St., in Neah Bay.

Makah: Neah Bay students moving ahead in technology contest - Students will film documentary of other students working with the Makah tribe in a project to use mushrooms to clean diesel fuel-contaminated sand.

Makah: NW Readiness For Oil Spills Drops As Risks Increase

Makah: Neah Bay wins school's first title by beating Almira/Coulee-Hartline | 1B Football

Jamestown S'Klallam-Lower Elwha-Makah: High-speed Internet tapped for Peninsula by August 2013

November 2011

Makah: Evolution in the Whaling Industry

Makah: 'Q’we-ti — Tales of the Makah Tribe'

Makah: New book celebrates West Coast First Nation cultures

Tulalip and Makah: Clearing Washington’s air with diesel technology for school buses, maritime vessels and construction

Makah: Flamenco dance in Neah Bay on Sunday (No, really!)

October 2011

Makah: Indian Voices rise out of pain with hope and humor; open-mic night Tuesday in Port Angeles

Spirits of Our Whaling Ancestors: Revitalizing Makah and Nuu-chah-nulth Traditions (A Capell Family Book) [Paperback]

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