Yakama Member Selected to Chair
by Bob Hoff
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakama Nation member Gerald Lewis will lead the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which oversees tribal fisheries on the massive river.
Fish commission members from four Columbia River tribes -- Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce and Warm Springs -- recently selected Lewis for a one-year term.
The fish commission represents the interests of the four major tribes, who retained their traditional fishing rights on the Columbia River.
Lewis, a member of the Yakama Tribal Council who sits on the tribe's Law and Order, Fish and Wildlife committees, is a tribal fisherman and longhouse leader who stresses the importance of preserving and rebuilding fish runs in the Columbia River basin. Salmon as well as other sacred foods are honored at longhouses (tribal churches).
"It is an honor to be selected as the next chairman," Lewis said in a Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission news release. "Ultimately, our end goal is to ensure that our sacred first foods -- water, salmon, game, roots, and berries -- are protected and available to future generations in perpetuity."
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