Tiller’s Guide to Indian Country - Third Edition

396 Nez Perce Individual-Indian trust lands (Tribal source, 2004) 46,250 acres Tribal trust lands (Tribal source, 2004) 43,106 acres Tribal fee lands (Tribal source, 2004) 11,365 acres Fee title lands (Tribal source, 2004) 643,565 acres Tribal fee land outside reservation (Tribal source, 2004) 44,293 acres Population (2010 Census) 18,437 Tribal enrollment (Tribal source, 2010) 3,513 at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, the site of the present-day towns of Lewiston and Clarkston.Anumber of Nez Perce bands refused to sign the treaty, including the Wallowa Valley band led by Chief Joseph. A war ensued and resulted in the eventual surrender of the Nez Perce in 1877. Members of the Wallowa band, among others, retreated north to Canada for a period of five months. Upon their return they were confined to the new reservation lands. The reservation was further reduced by the effects of the Allotment Act of 1877. In 1893 the federal government opened all non-allotted Nez Perce lands to the public. These actions resulted in the loss of 542,000 acres of tribal lands. In 1948 the tribe became a self-governing nation under an adopted constitution and bylaws.As with many other tribes, the Nez Perce have experienced a cultural renaissance during the past half century. Revival of traditional arts and crafts, dance, and religion is underway, and today the Nez Perce are writing their own history and reviving the Nez Perce language. GOVERNMENT The tribal executive committee, a nine-member body elected at large, manages economic development, tribal social service programs, natural resources, and investments. Committeemembers serve staggered three-year terms, with elections occurring annually. The tribe did not accept the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 and is a self-governing nation. The current constitution and bylaws were adopted on April 2, 1948. A tribal police department and tribal court implement laws as set out in the Law and Order Code and maintain jurisdiction over most criminal, civil, juvenile, and domestic matters within the reservation involving tribal members. There is an office of legal counsel and a prosecutor’s office. In 2014 law enforcement and court system cross-jurisdictional issues remain challenging for the tribe, as there are five counties with land within reservation boundaries, and tribal officers are not deputized by those counties for enforcement purposes, creating local police department, sheriff department, and state police layers of potential conflict. The tribe has initiated multi-jurisdictional conferences to develop law enforcement and court systems collaboration in eliminating confusion while carefully safeguarding tribal sovereignty. Other issues are referred to the federal government for assistance with resolution. Tribal governmental departments and programs include human resources, law and order, youth affairs, land services, budget and finance/credit, economic and community planning, an arts council, executive direction, and a department of natural resources, which includes fisheries, forestry, air quality, water quality, wildlife, environmental restoration, and waste management programs. They operate a cultural resources and language program, and classes are open to everyone, not just tribal members. Their education department oversees tribal schools, adult education, vocational rehabilitation services, and early childhood development. The social services administration oversees a USDA food and nutrition program, as well as the Indian Child Welfare and TANF offices. There is also a veterans benefit program. The tribe also has the following boards and authorities or commissions: tribal employment rights, housing authority, utility board, gaming commission, health authority, enterprise commission, fish and wildlife commission, LCBC advisory committee, foundation board, and retirement board. ECONOMY The tribe’s economy is sustained by revenue earned through its many businesses, which include Clearwater River Casino near Lewiston and It’seYeYe Bingo and Casino in Kamiah, the Nez Perce Express Store,Aht’wy Plaza RV Park, and Nez Perce Forest Products. The tribal government itself contributes greatly to the economy of the reservation as well. Government as Employer. There are over 1,000 individuals employed throughout the various tribal businesses and services, and another 700 are employed by governmental departments and programs. Economic Development Projects. Oversight of economic development on the reservation includes a comprehensive economic planning strategy with annual updates, a tourism plan, and development of funding sources for additional small businesses on the reservation. Agriculture and Livestock. The tribe cultivates 385,227 acres of reservation land; wheat is the major crop. Other crops include barley, dry peas, lentils, canola, bluegrass seed, alfalfa, and hay. The tribe also raises cattle, and 261,954 acres are used for grazing. The tribe’s herd of horses produces an Appaloosa-Akahl-Teke cross. The tribe has successfully reintroduced, through the breeding process, its line of horses that dominated the tribal herds prior to American contact in 1806. The horse program teaches tribal youth about horsemanship, management practices, and economic opportunities available in the horse industry. The horses are also available to various health, wellness, and recovery programs operated by the tribe. Forestry. In 2012, forested lands, composed primarily of mixed conifers, occupy approximately 77% of all tribally owned lands, though scattered in fragmented parcels. The forestry and fire management division monitors the health of over 100,159 total acres of commercially viable stands, and the forest products enterprise conducts harvesting, marketing, and replanting to assure sustainability. Gaming.The Clearwater River Casino is located in Lewiston. It is an 18,000 square foot facility that features bingo and over 600 video lottery terminals. Amenities include a grill, a gift shop, and an adjacent RV park. The It’Se-Ye-Ye Bingo and Casino is located in Kamiah. It offers over 100 video lottery machines and electronic bingo. The average net revenue is between $2 and $3 million. The tribe infuses the funds into the general budget, economic development projects, and services for tribal members. The revenue is also used to donate sums to local police and fire services, charitable organizations, and local schools. Tourism and Recreation. The Nez Perce National Park, partially located on tribal land, attracts over 36,000 visitors annually. The reservation lies in proximity to several outdoor recreational areas, including Hell’s Canyon, Clearwater River, Clearwater National Forest, and the Nez Perce National Forest. Five Idaho state parks are also located near the reservation. The tribe participates in the operation of the Nez Perce Cultural Museum at Spalding, Idaho where Nez Perce artisans sell corn husk weaving, jewelry, and other crafts. Capitalizing on revenues earned from its other enterprises, the tribe has developed tourist facilities at many of their major cultural assets throughout the reservation to encourage eco- and heritage tourism. The public is invited to attend powwows, including the Clearwater River Casino and Lodge Powwow in October, a New Year’s Powwow, theAnnual Chief Lookingglass Days in August, Chief Joseph and Warriors Memorial Powwow in Lapwai the third weekend in June, and a Young Nations Powwow the third weekend each November. Chief Joseph Days in July are well attended, and there are Lapwai Days the first weekend of July. There are rodeos in various communities and ranger-guided walks at Canoe Camp, the Buffalo Eddy rock art site, and at theWhite Bird Battlefield, among others. The Nez Perce Historical Trail in Spalding is a major draw for history buffs. There are 26 historical sites along the 1,170-mile trail that lie on or close to the reservation, and the visitor center and museum in Spalding feature large collections of NativeAmerican artwork and artifacts.The old Spalding Church and the IndianAgency Cabin andWatson’s Store are prominent landmarks, and picnic grounds near the Clearwater River encourage day-long stays in the community. Naturalists frequently visit the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery and Visitor’s Center in Orofino and theWolf Education and Research Center inWinchester. Fisheries. The tribe’s department of fisheries resources management is an extensive program that has assumed responsibility for the restoration and recovery of the reservation watershed and its fish populations. It works to ensure that the harvest and conservation actions taken by any tribal or non-tribal entity comply with all tribal laws and regulations. The department works in cooperation with other member tribes of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The tribe manages three tribal fish hatcheries in support of the Commission’s goals of restoring threatened or endangered fish species, in-