Hunting and rodeoing, playing football and singing in the school choir. For Charles Hudson ’84, growing up in the ’60s and ’70s on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in rural North Dakota also meant listening to stories from his Hidatsa mother and white rancher father. One of them was about a huge flood — and it wasn’t a myth.
Six years before Hudson was born, construction of the Garrison Dam submerged 550,000 acres of Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara (the Three Affiliated Tribes) land, resulting in Lake Sakakawea and forcing hundreds of families to flee, including Hudson’s. The tragedy only inspired his parents to triumph over it.
When Mike Leach, coach of WSU’s football team, was a boy, he was in thrall with the story of Geronimo, a warrior who led a small group of Chiricahua Apache in defending tribal lands from invasion by Mexican and American settlers. A reader from an early age, Leach discovered the story at a public library in Cody, Wyoming.
“There was this book on Geronimo, the biggest book there. My mom said, ‘Maybe we should get a smaller book, maybe a book with pictures,’” says Leach. “It had footnotes, bibliography, and everything. It’s not something that belongs with a second-grader. But like a trooper, my mom … » More …
Indian Law Attorney Brian Gunn pushes into new territory for his tribe and others
In the summer of 1951, a Colville Indian named Peter Gunn sued the United States government for the loss of a portion of his ancestral lands. He joined members of a number of other tribes including the Lake, San Poils, Methow, Okanogan, and Nespelem, all living on the Colville reservation and whose homelands, which once covered nearly half of Eastern Washington, had been given to the public for settlement in the late 1800s.
Two generations later, Gunn’s grandson Brian, 38, filed another suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, this … » More …
In his foreword to the latest account of the Nez Perce War of 1877, Kevin Carson ’81 writes, “In my memory, there was never a time when our family was not fascinated by the saga of the Nez Perce.” Carson’s great-great-great grandfather, Levi Watrous, served as a scout during the Civil War, then moved to Columbia County, Washington, in 1872, where he made his living as a stockman. … » More …
Ed Claplanhoo ’56 was chairman of the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay when a winter storm in 1970 eroded the bank above the beach at Cape Alava on the Olympic Peninsula coast, revealing the village of Ozette. The village, ancestral home to many Makahs, had been buried in a mudslide in the 1700s.
Once he realized what the storm had exposed, Claplanhoo called Richard Daugherty, an archaeologist at WSU. Daugherty had been the freshman class advisor in the early 1950s, and Claplanhoo had been the class treasurer.
Claplanhoo and Daugherty worked closely together to explore and preserve what archaeological crews found in Ozette, … » More …
Ki Tecumseh learned to work within the system—or stretch it
“Indian people don’t consider themselves to be a minority people.” —Ki Tecumseh
Growing up on the Yakama Indian Reservation, Kiutus “Ki” Tecumseh, Jr. learned to put his finger up to the wind to test the direction it was blowing. In his ideas and actions, he also likes to test conventional thought. A longtime public relations specialist with the Department of Energy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he is soft-spoken and measured in his speech. But people tend to listen to what he has to say, more than how he says it.