Tribes donate $900K to turn sacred site into park

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Nez Perce Tribe each donated $300,000 to help create a state park in Oregon.

The tribes worked with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Oregon State Parks Trust, a non-profit, to preserve 62 acres in the Wallowa Mountains. The Iwetemlaykin State Park and Heritage Site sits adjacent to the burial grounds and cemetery of Nez Perce Chief Joseph.

“It is good to be home,” Keith Red Thunder of the Chief Joseph Band of the Colville Tribes said at a dedication ceremony, The La Grande Observer reported.

Iwetemlaykin means "at the edge of the lake" in the Nez Perce. The area is in the Wallowa Lake basin.

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Iwetemlaykin At the edge of the lake, a state park is born (The La Grande Observer 10/15)