Message from the Chairman

Working to “Make it the Way it Was”


In 2008 the Yakama Nation entered into an agreement with the United hStates, termed the Columbia River Fish Accord, by which we greatly expanded the range and nature of our work to preserve, protect, and restore the fish and wildlife resources that we reserved in perpetuity for future generations in our Treaty of 1855. The health of the water, the fish, and the rivers they need is inseparable from our own health and way of life. While much has occurred over the last 100 years to harm and damage these natural resources, it is our duty to the Creator and to our people to take care of what remains and restore what has been lost.


An elder described this responsibility simply and eloquently as to “Make it the way it was.” This is the vision and goal of our efforts to restore the resources and the places where they live. It is a large and important undertaking, the work of generations, but we will persist and do our part as we are called upon and are able even if it takes the next 100 years. In partnership with others who share our need to protect and restore, we can achieve much.


This report summarizes our progress in restoring fishery resources since signing the 2008 Accord with Bonneville Power Administration, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Bureau of Reclamation. We have come a long way and made much progress, but much remains to be done. In this effort we must not fail, for we owe it to our grandchildren and to those yet unborn.


Gerald Lewis
Former Chairman, Fish and Wildlife Committee
Current Yakama Nation Tribal Council Member