Yakama Treaty Day CommemorationPosted: Updated:
TOPPENISH, Wash.--Thursday marked the 155th anniversary of the Yakama Nation treaty signing. The Treaty of 1855 dedicated about 6.4 million acres in Northeastern Oregon and Southeastern Washington to the Yakamas. The few days of festivities help families not have to think about February's devastating fire in White Swan or the local marines killed over the last year.
"I think it's a good way to get out and get all the bad things out of the way--forget about the worse things that happen," said Charlie Totus, who attended Thursday's Treaty Day parade.
At least for the next few days Totus and his family won't have to think about February's devastating fire in White Swan, or the local marines killed over the last year. The parade was a big part of that, complete with colorful floats and tribal dancers. "Oh I liked the one with the chief--the chief head dress on it," Totus said.
Along with the parade, locals were able to come by the cultural center and enjoy the festivities and food. Deanna Juarez helped feed the visitors for the day. Her stand was among the dozens that showed off the Yakama culture, but it wasn't easy finding a spot. "We came in and set up around 6 a.m. and set up our area right here because most of the places were already taken," Juarez said.
There were many other stands with Yakama creations, including ivory sculptures from the Saint Lawrence Island Eskimos. Juarez enjoyed seeing so many faces and says it was worth the wait to see the Yakama Nation smile."It's exciting. It really is, to see everyone come together, forget all the other stuff out there and just enjoy the day with each other." The Treaty Day commemoration continues all weekend at the White Swan Pavilion