Nez Perce Tribe

Lewis and Clark Bi-Centennial Committee



Our mission is to present a forum for the tribes impacted by the Lewis and Clark Trail and to provide an opportunity to present our perspective on the forthcoming Bicentennial commemoration.




News article about Bi-Centennial

Norton pledges support for bicentennial



Interior Secretary Gale Norton, left, laughs while stretching candle wick to make a wax candle with Clatsop County Community College history teacher Debbie Kaspar. Norton toured Fort Clatsop National Memorial after giving a brief speech at the Dorchester Conference in Seattle. Norton is the first woman to head the Department of Interior.

       ANDY CARPENEAN--The Daily Astorian




The Daily Astorian

Sixteen-year-old Farrah Malatare came in her mother's place Saturday to the Fort Clatsop National Memorial.

Standing before U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Malatare represented the Yakama and Blackfeet nations at the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration Readiness Forum.   

"Commemoration, to me, is like all native tribes getting together and being one," she said. "Knowing that we've all gone through so much in the past, and now we're all together - it is like, healing each other."

During her first official trip outside Washington, D.C., Secretary Norton heard Chinook, Yakama and Umatilla tribal representatives and National Park Service officials. Norton left Fort Clatsop to catch a flight back to Washington, D.C., before directors of Lewis and Clark planning agencies of Oregon and Washington talked about challenges and plans for the commemoration.



U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, signs his name with a quill inside the captain's quarters, while Fort Clatsop Superintendent Don Striker talks with Gale Norton about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

       ANDY CARPENEAN--The Daily Astorian

Speaking briefly to about 85 officials in the Fort Clatsop audience, Norton said the Lewis and Clark expedition is a defining American story. She said the 2003-2006 commemoration highlights that journey, the significance of preserving national history, as well as the country's "wild places," and the Native American role in the Corps of Discovery's trek to the Pacific Ocean.

Norton pledged support from 20 federal agencies and six departments. She noted the commitment of hundreds of communities along the Lewis and Clark trail and 58 tribes.

"We're now in the critical planning stages of the commemoration," Norton said. "I have to say I'm overwhelmed by what we have in terms of involvement.

"The history of the American Indian tribes, their contributions to the expedition and the interpretation of this event by their descendants, are an integral part of this commemoration. ... The tribal members who traded with the expedition and insured the survival of the Corps of Discovery were important parts of this process, and we look forward to commemorating them."



           Lorraine Basch, 6, of Tacoma, Washington , falls asleep during the visit of the Secretary of Interior inside the Fort Clatsop National Memorial meeting room. Columbia River Indians Farrah Malature and her father Lewis of Yakama, Washington, sit next to Basch. Farrah Malature wears a sash inscribed Miss Treaty Day to mark the Treaty Day Commemoration of 1855.

       ANDY CARPENEAN--The Daily Astorian

  Chinook Tribal Chairman Gary Johnson welcomed tribal leaders and offered Chinook support for the commemoration.

"The first concern we have is the Quinault nation will likely appeal our (tribal) recognition, and that appeal can greatly affect our ability to work on Lewis and Clark and tribal issues," Johnson said. "I need to express these (concerns) because, we will help and work with you on the Lewis and Clark bicentennial, but we need the help of the people in this room to reach our goals for Chinook tribal survival."

Loss of recognition affects federal funding eligibility for health care, education and other resources.

"We're worried about all our people. We're worried about our children," Johnson added. " We need Chinook canoes on the river in November 2005, and we need resources to be able to do these things."



"It's great to see people who find politics to be fun," said Interior Secretary Gale Norton, as she holds up the name card of U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, D-Oregon. The card reads "Important person everyone is sucking up to." The former Colorado attorney general, in her first visit outside Washington, D.C., since being appointed, gave a speech and shook hands with the Republican crowd at the Dorchester Conference, held at the Seaside Convention Center Saturday.

       ANDY CARPENEAN--The Daily Astorian

In addition to Norton, Johnson had the ear of U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who invited Norton to Fort Clatsop one week prior. His words also reached U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., state Rep. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, and agency heads from both states.

Park Superintendent Don Striker gave Norton a tour of the park and the replica of Fort Clatsop beforehand.   "To have her here, first thing, that gives me the feeling that we may actually get some funding to do some of the things we need to do," said Steve Wang, interpretative supervisor of Washington State Parks.

Road improvements and realization of an ocean-trail corridor from Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach are priorities, as well as collaboration among agencies at all levels. Organizers on both sides of the Columbia hope to see funding for an interpretive site at Station Camp in McGowan, Wash., where the Corps of Discovery members made the decision to come to Fort Clatsop.

Last week, Smith re-introduced legislation to expand the Fort Clatsop National Memorial to 1,500 acres. In addition to the park's present 130 acres, Smith's proposal would include 60 acres involved in a pending sale from Willamette industries, approximate acreage of 100-130 acres at Sunset Beach for a trail head and land for the proposed Station Camp interpretive center at McGowan, Wash.

Smith offered to serve as a contact between tribes and regional Lewis and Clark groups in the Pacific Northwest and the U.S. Interior Department.

"I make that offer because few things excite me more than this bicentennial," he said. "Because it's about us, it's about our home, it's about the Northwest and what really defines our history together as newly-arrived Americans and as Native Americans. This is a story we did together."

Fort Clatsop National Memorial

U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton




Visitor #Hit Counter


Created By Computer Training Solutions, Lewiston, Idaho