Exec Director’s Statement on Herrera v Wyoming Supreme Court Decision
The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Herrera v. Wyoming confirmed what tribal leaders and the United States intended when they signed the treaties. This decision repudiated a decades-old ruling in another case and reaffirmed that tribal hunting rights reserved in Indian treaties did not expire when a territory became a state. As members of the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Yakama tribes, we consider the freedom to hunt, fish, and gather our First Foods as an ancient right guaranteed by our Creator and then secured in our treaties with the U.S.—treaties that were promised to remain in effect “as long as the grass grows and the waters flow.”
—Jaime Pinkham, CRITFC Executive Director
About CRITFC. The Portland-based Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is the technical support and coordinating agency for fishery management policies of the Columbia River Basin’s four treaty tribes: the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and the Nez Perce Tribe.
CRITFC, formed in 1977, employs biologists, other scientists, public information specialists, policy analysts and administrators who work in fisheries research and analyses, advocacy, planning and coordination, harvest control and law enforcement.