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1855
U.S. Treaty with the Walla Walla, Cayuse and Umatilla

In 1855 the U.S. Government and the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes signed a treaty. In the Treaty, the tribes gave up, or ceded, to the United States more than 6.4 million acres in what is now northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. In exchange, a parcel of land was designated as the Umatilla Indian Reservation which the tribes would retain as a permanent homeland.

As a result of U.S. Congressional legislation in the late 1800s that diminished its size and allowed purchase and ownership by non-Indians, the Umatilla Indian Reservation now consists of 172,000 acres. Nearly half is owned by non-Indians.

Also in the Treaty of 1855, the tribes reserved rights to fish, hunt, and gather traditional foods and medicines throughout the ceded lands. The Tribes still protect and exercise those rights within the 6.4 million acres of ceded land in what is now northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington.

It is important to understand that the U.S. Government and the Treaty did not "give" the Tribal people those rights to fish, hunt, and gather foods and medicines. Those are rights that they have had and exercised since time immemorial. In the Treaty, the Tribes reserved those rights to ensure that future generations would be able to maintain and exercise their traditions and customs.

Because of those reserved treaty rights in the 6.4 million acres, the Tribes maintain a keen interest and involvement in the activities that occur in that area.

Sources:
Treaty with the Walla Walla, Cayuse and Umatilla 1855 (pdf)



The Cayuse Indians
The Cayuse Indians
 
Imperial Tribesmen of Old Oregon
by Robert H. Ruby and John A. Brown

University of Oklahoma Press, 2005.

In this book, Robert H. Ruby and John A. Brown tell the story of the Cayuse people, from their early years through the 19th century, when the tribe was forced to move to a reservation. First published in 1972, this expanded edition is published in 2005 in commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the treaty between the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Confederated Tribes and the U.S. government of June 9, 1855, as well as the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark's visit to the tribal homeland in 1805 and 1806..

Oratory in Native North America
by William M. Clements
Life of a Solider on the Western Frontier
Life of a Solider on the Western Frontier
 
by Jeremy Agnew

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