The members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation are descendants of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla Indian Tribes. They overlap economically, socially, in language, and after years of intermarriage, to the point that tribal distinctions are becoming less and less pronounced. Before European contact, the members of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla people were 8,000 members strong. These people lived in the Columbia River region for more than 10,000 years, moving in a large circle from the lowlands along the Columbia River to the highlands in the Blue Mountains to fish, hunt and gather food. The Walla Walla Treaty of 1855 was negotiated at Fort Walla Walla between the government and the three tribes. At that time 6.4 million acres were ceded in exchange for a reservation homeland of 250,000 acres. As a result of federal legislation in the late 1800s that reduced its size, the Umatilla Reservation is now 172,000 acres — 158,000 acres just east of Pendleton, Oregon plus 14,000 acres in the McKay, Johnson, and McCoy Creek areas southeast of Pilot Rock, Oregon. The Treaty contained 11 articles and established the Umatilla Indian Reservation for the three tribes. They became known as the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Rather than accept the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the tribes adopted a written Constitution and By -Laws which were approved by the Secretary of the Interior on December 7, 1949. This Constitution established the present tribal government.
Yellowhawk Health Center is located approximately ten miles from Pendleton, Oregon, and provides outpatient primary care to members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), and other eligible American Indians.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) is located in the Northeast corner of Oregon in Umatilla County which borders the state of Washington. CTUIR is comprised of nearly 3,000 members of the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla
tribes. The closest city, Pendleton is approximately 5 miles west and has a population of 16,000.
The Umatilla Reservation covers 157,982 acres, about 8% of Umatilla County. City: Pendleton, population 14,660. Elevation 1,068. Incorporated 1880. County: Umatilla, population 60,000. 3,231 square miles. Per capita income (1986) $11,654. Rainfall 12.2. Average temperatures 32.8-73.8. County’s true cash value averages out at $696 an acre. Principal industries: agriculture, food processing, wood products, tourism, manufacturing, and recreation.
Language for the people of Nixyáawii, the place of many springs, is a way of life and being. Within the phrases and words of their language is the history of their people and the strength and emotion of their tribal community.
By tapping into the knowledge of fluent speakers, they are working to recapture the language for the benefit of generations to come. The CTUIR Language Program is dedicated to recording fluent speakers, archiving language material, making language accessible for all tribal members and teaching the languages of Umatilla, Walla Walla and Weyíiletpuu (Cayuse) to all ages.
The Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla were confederated under the Treaty of 1855, yet each maintains a distinct heritage and unique dialect. Throughout history, several CTUIR dialects have been spoken.
Today, speakers of all levels speak Umatilla and Walla Walla. The Umatilla language is the southern Sahaptin dialect and the Walla Walla is the northeast dialect of Sahaptin. Weyíiletpuu is a dialect of the Nez Perce language as used by the Cayuse people. A distinctive dialect of the Cayuse people has not been used since the 1940’s and is designated as extinct.
The Department of Economic and Community Development promotes the interests of members of the Umatilla Indian Reservation by creating jobs, increasing revenues, and contributing to a diversified and developed economic base, thus creating opportunities for continued advancement of all sectors of the community.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) has completed over $22 million in construction at Coyote Business Park and Arrowhead Travel Plaza. The Governance Center is nearly complete, and the next phase of Wildhorse Resort expansion will begin.
The CTUIR has experienced burgeoning growth in the past decades driven by the economic engine of the Wildhorse Resort & Casino, which employs half of the
tribe’s 1,600 employees. Principal industries: agriculture, food processing, wood products, tourism, manufacturing, and recreation. CTUIR is the host nation for the Pendleton Round–Up which celebrated its 100th year in 2010.
The three tribes of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have an enrollment of nearly 3,000 members.
The Umatilla Reservation covers 157,982 acres, about 8% of Umatilla County. City: Pendleton, population 14,660. Elevation 1,068. Incorporated 1880. County: Umatilla, population 60,000. 3,231 square miles. Per capita income (1986) $11,654. Rainfall 12.2. Average temperatures 32.8-73.8. County’s true cash value averages out at $696 an acre.