Tuesday, August 27, 2013


July 30th, 2013

Well, today is the last day of our trip. I am more than ready to go home and see my friends and family. In the morning, we woke up many of us who slept outside were sleeping on deflated mattresses. The high schoolers had pulled a prank on us. They even moved the school vans (which scared one of the chaperons to death). After we ate breakfast, we needed to do an inventory on ALL of our gear. We had to turn in our headlamps, backpacks, water pouches, laundry bags, air mattresses, sleeping bags, and tents. Jayla and I were in charge of checking in everything. For some reason Jessica likes us working together haha. Once we finally left, we had to stop in Grand Coulee for gas, and everybody loaded up on snacks. After our pit stop, we headed to Dry Falls to see exactly how powerful the Missoula Flood was. We investigated the visitor center and watched the short film, and then some of the high school kids were finishing up their blogs. 

It felt like we were there forever...

We headed home and was heading onto the Yakima reservation before I knew it. (I slept the entire time, it felt like) Coming doing through Ellensburg I felt like I was home! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


July 25th, 2013- Evening

After being unsuccessful finding fossils in Republic we ventured to Grant, Washington to visit the famous Grand Coulee Dam. I have never visited it before so I am excited! My great grandfather actually worked on it when President Roosevelt first issued it to be built! 

Once we arrived after an amazing dinner at the local pizza place I was amazed by how big the dam was! It was twice the size as I had pictured in my head! We took pictures and waited until the laser show started it was very cool. The laser show was very educational and told a story about the Columbia River and how it benefited from the dam. 

I would like to go back one day with my family.

Bye Bye Spokane, Hello Republic

July 25th, 2013

The Spokane Tribe has been so giving and nice. They provided us dinner at Arby's which we were all grateful for. They are very giving people. They have a lot of knowledge of the past and the futre, that they are willing to share. I hope to use this knowledge to try and solve the problems that are happening in all reservations. 

We are now heading to Stonerose in Republic, Washington to look for fossils. Fossils are carbon compressed with minerals are stained by water. Fossils in this area date back to 48 to 50 years old. There once was a lake but to present day has dried up. Typically people have found fossils with leafs, insects, ginkgo, fish at Stonerose. In that site there are currently 12 researchers studying fossils. 

Some students found fossils with pine needles, and lake debris. My partner Briana and I found nothing :(

On the tenth day...

July 24th, 2013

It is now day 10, I can't believe it! This trip is going by way too fast. We got an early start today because we have a lot planned with the Spokane-ians. Spokane reservation employees, Billy Joe: Natural Resource director, Warren Sayler: Coordinator, John Matt: Heritage Coordinator, Bill Matt: tribal elder, Brain Crossley: project coordinator, Brent Nicholas: Program manager, Candace Bennett: wild life biologist. They spoke about their reservation. It is only 157,000 acres, which is the smallest that we have visited so far. They explained the impacts that the dams have had on their water systems. They have actually not had any salmon in their reservation waters in years! I found this to be very upsetting especially coming from a Tribe that has plenty. After our talk about water restoration projects and other important issues.The Spokane-ians took us out in the field to set up track plates with Candace Bennett who is a Wild Life Biologist. She spoke to us about setting up track plates to detect carnivores. She taught us how to set up the plates and we helped camouflage it with tree limbs, dried grass and leafs. After our lunch break w got the wonderful opportunity to Shock fish! We did this to collect them for sampling. I volunteered to be a netter (caught zapped fish in my net). We got a little under 10 fish, but overall it was such a great experience and almost had me change my major. (I want to be a teacher) haha

In the evening we spent time listening to the tribe and Havier sang a beautiful song while we watching the sunset on Lake Roosevelt. 

I am very grateful that Jessica Black, and The Spokane Tribe gave us the opportunity to do some hands on type work!!!


Day 9~ Keep it "Traditional!"

July 23rd, 2013

Today was all about all things traditional. We used soil to make our own paint. We mixed it with weird things like soy milk and lime. We had to grind the soil down to a powder. We did this by using rocks. my paint was a very brown color that was actually quite watery (Guess I won't be a professional paint maker). 

After we each got to paint something, we then made a portrait to give to our wonderful host Wenix. We all used the paints to place our hand prints :)

We learned again about the traditional food. this time we actually got to all try some of it! Each food item is honored by tribes with its own feast. I personally have only been to a huckleberry feast and did not know there were others like it.    water, salmon, deer, roots, and berries are the most important foods to all tribes. They are part of the culture and they deserve their own ceremonies and we need to do all that we can to protect them. 

We are now on our way to the Spokane Reservation! We are staying at the Wellpinit Fairgrounds, lets cross our fingers for some electricity hopefully! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 8...

July 22nd, 2013

Umatillia Indian Reservation- Department of Natural Resources

First Foods Management 
Wenix Red Elk, DNR Education & Outreach specialist 

We learned that the goal of this tribe is to restore its first food. These are water, salmon, deer, roots, and berries for culture and economic benefits. They want to focus on helping populations and habitats  of these foods. They think culture is the law and what they live by. All types of laws come along with trying to preserve these foods. Water rights, fishing rights, hunting rights, and gathering and grazing rights. 
Wenix's job is to represent everyone and all rights and to educate others about them.
I really liked this presentation and I believe that BY COMBINING SCIENCE AND CULTURE OF TRIBES WE CAN SAVE ALL RESOURCES! 

Tires Tires Tires ohhh my!

On our way to visit a restoration project that the Umatillia Tribe is working on we had some problems...
On our way to the site we had to go on a very trechorous road right next to some train tracks. On our way there we had two vans get a flat tire. (White swans and Heritage's) >:[

After Giovanni changed them we headed to the site. After some great information and group pictures we headed back. Headed back to the Tribes agency on the scary road.. White Swans van in front of us received two more flats!!! So we traveled on in desperation to find tires :(