CRITFC is governed by the Fish and Wildlife Committees of its four member tribes. Each tribe determines how its Fish and Wildlife Committee is elected or selected as well as the number of representatives comprising their committee. This ranges from five to fifteen representatives. However each tribe has only one vote at the Commission table.
The four committees must reach consensus in order for the Commission to act. The Commissioners meet, at a minimum, monthly. During fishing seasons, meetings are often held more frequently via conference calls or teleconferencing.
CRITFC officers are elected to a one-year term. The Chair is selected by the Commission from the Commissioners representing the tribe whose turn it is to hold the chairmanship. The chairmanship is currently held by the Yakama Nation.
Chair Jeremy Takala, Yakama
Jeremy Takala, Indian name Pax’una’shut, is a Tribal Councilman of the Yakama Nation and is from the Kahmiltpah Band (Rock Creek) of the Columbia River area. Prior to becoming a member of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council (YNTC) he worked for the Yakama Nation Fisheries Project (YKFP) for 12 years at the Klickitat River Research Monitor Evaluate (RME). He currently serves on the Fish and Wildlife Committee, Legislative Committee, Law and Order Committee, and the Veterans Committee for the YNTC.
As Chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), he pledges his commitment to remain vigilant in managing fishery resources through the inherent rights that were affirmed through treaties made by the Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce nations. These legal contracts with the United States government serve as guiding principles to help protect the natural foods, streams, and animals; as well as maintaining a stewardship role for future generations to understand and protect. Jeremy is honored to be apart of the CRITFC organization so that he may carry on the vision of past leaders’ work in preserving the natural law that was set in place since Time Immemorial.
Jeremy grew up in Goldendale, WA and was brought up as a drummer and provider for the Rock Creek Longhouse. He acknowledges his traditional teachers which include a long list of family members and tribal elders. Jeremy and his family remain active in the Washut ways and together with his wife Kim, they continue to hand down those teachings to their two sons, Tyler and Clint. He is known in the pow wow circle as a round bustle dancer which is a style that originates from the Yakama Nation. He is also an avid Mariners fan, enjoys being in the mountains gathering traditional foods and medicines, and making memories with his family to continue on the practices that were shown to him during his upbringing. For Jeremy and his family, it’s a team effort that involves the entire community.
Vice Chair Ferris Paisano, Nez Perce
Secretary Ryan Smith, Warm Springs
Treasurer Jeremy Red Star Wolf, Umatilla
Jeremy Red Star Wolf is the current Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. His Indian name, Xitsiw Ilp Ilp, means “Red Star.” He grew up on the Umatilla River in Cayuse, Oregon. His intertribal relations include the Palouse (Chief Wolf), Nez Perce (Ollicut), Warm Springs (atway Great Aunt Gina Wolf married atway Jazzy Wewa, a Warm Springs member), and Yakama (atway Grandmother Theresa Johnson of the Yakama Charlie family).
In 1996 Jeremy graduated from Weston McEwen High school in Athena, Oregon. After serving a year with Salmon Corps, Jeremy went on to graduate from Blue Mountain Community College and is an alumnus of Oregon State University’s School of Forestry with a degree in Natural Resources.
Much of Jeremy’s life has revolved around incorporating the unwritten law into the demands of present-day life: staying culturally active, earning an education, building a skillset, and staying active in tribal government. Starting as a summer hire in high school conducting habitat and redd count surveys for salmon and lamprey, Jeremy worked his way up the ranks at the CTUIR Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Program from a Fisheries Technician to a Biologist. He worked in various capacities and throughout the CTUIR aboriginal title lands.
“The teaching found in the cultures of all the four tribes of making decisions with future generations in mind weighs heavy on me,” says Wolf. “I feel strong enough to endure that weight because of the strong foundation of family, culture, and understanding to move forward in retaining our treaty rights and resources for all our future within the Columbia River Basin. I am committed to listening and taking appropriate action in the ever adapting environmental and political landscape of fishery and First Food management.”
Jeremy and wife Althea Huesties-Wolf have three children: Aiden, Manaia, and Stella. He is also an artist, horseman, traditional slick-style dancer, youth basketball and football coach, wild horse racer, hunter, and fisher.
Jeremy Takala (CRITFC Chair), Gerald Lewis, George R. Meninick, Terry Heemsah Sr, Randy Settler, Wilbur Slockish, Jr., William Yallup, Jr., Rex Zack
Ferris Paisano III (CRITFC Vice Chair), Liz Arthur-Attao, Arthur Broncheau, Chantel Eastman, Mary Jane Miles, Casey Mitchell, Bill Picard, Shannon Wheeler, Quintin Ellenwood, Erik Holt, Michael McFarland, Andre Picard Jr, Red-Wing Nick-Les Two Moons
Ryan Smith (CRITFC Secretary), Delvis Heath, Sr., Anita Jackson, Brigette McConville, Raymond Moody, Joseph Moses, Alfred Smith, Glendon Smith, Lola Sohappy, Lincoln Jay Suppah, Raymond Tsumpti, Sr., Wilson Wewa, Jr., Bruce Jim, Sr., Emerson G. Squiemphen
Jeremy Red Star Wolf (CRITFC Treasurer), N. Kathryn Brigham, Corinne Sams, Ken Hall, Bud Herrera, James R. Marsh, Michael Van Pelt