There are many injustices facing the Kamilthpa and Columbia River Bands of the Yakama Nation regarding the proposed Goldendale pumped storage project which will permanently damage natural resources that tribal members harvest as a part of our physical, cultural and spiritual well-being.
The protection of these practices was retained through the Yakama Treaty of 1855 that many of our ancestors fought and died for. In a recent letter to the editor, our cultural values are being undermined for the sake of profit and development [“Goldendale energy project: Important for economy, ecology,” Oct. 16, Northwest Voices].
The Goldendale pumped storage project seems like a well-intentioned form of green energy — that can’t be further from the truth. The project wants to take millions of gallons out of the Columbia River and permanently destruct an irreplaceable sacred site to our people.
This project would take place on culturally sacred land that our ancestors have stewarded since time immemorial. We call it Pushpum “Mother of Roots,” and we continue to exercise our treaty rights to gather food, medicine and game, as is our tradition and spiritual obligation.
We will not remain silent while new development ideas destroy what we know to be sacred. People need to reach out to Gov. Jay Inslee to stop this project now.
Bronsco Jim Jr., Chief of Rock Creek/Kamilthpa Band