This document is typical of the conflicts and struggles Plateau people met when attempting to use their treaty rights of traditional gathering:  fishing, hunting, gathering natural materials for subsistence needs was to be guaranteed by the 1855 Treaty.  What Plateau tribes have met up with ever since states have been made joining as the United States, is that Plateau tribes have not been considered as another government with laws that need to be considered when any kind of natural resources are to be harvested or used.  Plateau tribes have always, since treaty times, had to go to court to get counties, and states to realize that treaty rights must be a part of all considerations in the state's growth and progress in utilization of ceded lands and the natural resources. Vivian Adams, Yakama

White people have never understood the laws Plateau people have attempted to keep; laws handed to them from the Creator, regarding use of our environment, our fellow creatures  and our natural resources.  These laws were in place and adhered to by native people  thousands of years before the white people escaped to this country seeking freedom. 

Once the lands were overtaken and "owned" by the white people, their laws were supposed to be considered over the ancient laws of our Creator. 

It was difficult for the immigrant cultures to understand the mores of the indigenous people, and these lifeways were usualy never part of the considerations to remove the Indians onto reservations or to "civilize" them according to the desires of the dominent culture.  White people, because they were the majority population and it was their needs and uses of the lands that became law; never understood that Plateau people have always based their societal life ways on spirituality, respect, thanks and good stewardship of all that was given to them by the Creator.  In fact, many white people didn't believe Indians had any kind of "religion."

The basic attitude of "manifest destiny" of whites moving into Plateau country is still a part of mainstream American society.  American Indians have strived to understand the whiteman's laws, and use them to be good citizens but to also protect the rights and lands left to them by hurried treaties. Vivian Adams, Yakama

Cultural Narrative: 

This legal document is typical of the struggles Plateau tribes have met in attempting to use their treaty rights to continue traditional gathering. This is an example of resistence the Plateau people met when trying to fish in their "usual and accustomed" areas as stated in the 1855 Treaty signed by Plateau tribal leaders and the U.S. government (Issac Stevens, Washington Territory governor). Vivian Adams

Traditional Knowledge: 

Original Territory

The original land base used by the Yakamas of the Plateau culture of American Indians, was well over ten million acres.  In what is now the state of Washington, the people who were moved onto the Yakama Reservation followed the seasonal growth of roots, berries and wildlife from as far north as Wenatchee, over to Morton and Cowlitz on the west and Vantage and Hanford to the east, and down to the Columbia River towards Stevenson, Lyle, White Salmon, and Roosevelt.  These are approximate areas of harvest use where several tribes and bands met up during that seasonal round. Vivian Adams, Yakama