Merkley, Murray, Wyden, Blumenauer anuncian financiamiento para comenzar el proceso de reconstrucción de viviendas tribales perdidas hace mucho tiempo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR3), announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) has dedicated funding to begin the process of replacing long-lost tribal housing along the Columbia River. The Army Corps will immediately dedicate up to $1.56 million for a village development plan to replace housing that was lost during construction of The Dalles Dam, with plans to dedicate $1.49 million more, depending on congressional funding for the rest of fiscal year 2017. The current funding bill runs through April 28, 2017.

“With this funding, we are beginning to right this historic wrong for tribal members,” Merkley said. “Leaving our tribes displaced, without relocation assistance, was simply wrong. We are another step closer to making good on the federal government’s obligation for housing and infrastructure. I will continue fighting to honor this decades-old promise, ensuring tribal members have the safe, reliable housing they deserve.”

“This is another promising step toward fulfilling the federal government’s obligation to the tribes along the Columbia River, but this is not the end of the road,” said Murray. “I commend the Army Corps for its recent work and urge fast action to use this much-needed funding to develop plans to provide tribal members with safe, sanitary housing and related infrastructure near The Dalles Dam.” 

“I am gratified an injustice that’s lingered far too long for Native American communities in Oregon will take this needed step to get the resources to reverse a deeply troubling history,” Wyden said. “Native children and families deserve safe housing that can protect them from serious health and safety hazards along the Columbia River.”

“It’s about time that the federal government put some much-needed funding towards fulfilling its obligations to the Lower Columbia River tribes,” said Blumenauer. “I’m encouraged that those impacted by the Dalles Dam will be able to move forward, but this is only a drop in the bucket for what is needed. I urge the federal government to move quickly to remedy this situation.”

A partir de la década de 1930, la construcción de las tres represas de la parte baja del río Columbia desplazó a miembros de las cuatro tribus del Tratado del río Columbia: tribus confederadas de la reserva india de Warm Springs, tribus confederadas de la reserva india de Umatilla, tribu nez perce y tribus y bandas confederadas. de la Nación India Yakama de la Reserva Yakama. Estas tribus tienen el derecho protegido por tratados de pescar a lo largo del río Columbia en sus lugares habituales y acostumbrados.

Los senadores y el congresista han estado luchando para abordar la necesidad urgente de viviendas e infraestructura adecuadas en los sitios de acceso a la pesca tribal construidos por el Cuerpo del Ejército luego de la construcción de las represas The Dalles, Bonneville y John Day. El Cuerpo del Ejército diseñó los sitios para ser utilizados principalmente para el acceso a la pesca diaria durante la temporada y para acampar temporalmente; sin embargo, en muchos casos, los miembros tribales ahora usan las áreas como residencias a largo plazo o incluso permanentes. Una revisión de investigación sobre viviendas tribales preparada por el Cuerpo del Ejército encontró que hasta 85 familias tribales que vivían a orillas del río Columbia antes de la construcción de las represas de Bonneville y The Dalles no recibieron asistencia para la reubicación, a pesar de que varias comunidades no tribales inundadas por la construcción de represas recibieron dicha asistencia.