Yakama Nation Elder Dies - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakama Nation Elder Dies

TOPPENISH, Wash. - William Yallup Sr., a longtime Yakama Nation leader, died Saturday at his Toppenish home. He was 79.

Born in a tepee at the annual Labor Day Rodeo in Ellensburg in 1926, Yallup was raised with traditional Yakama teachings and spoke both Yakama and English. He spent 12 years in the armed forces, served as the tribe's chief judge and sat on regional boards dealing with resource preservation and Northwest tribes.

He began serving in tribal government in 1960 as the assistant to the Tribal Council secretary, then was elected to the Tribal Council in 1972. He retired from the post in February 2005 for health reasons.

During his tenure, Yallup served on nearly every Tribal Council committee and was well known for his commitment to preserving tribal resources and the Yakamas' traditional rights reserved in their 1855 treaty.

Yallup was a direct descendent of treaty signer Wish-Och-Kmpits. He is survived by his wife, Martha, son William Yallup Jr., a brother and two sisters