Water for Warm Springs

November 2019

Water is life, Chúush iwa Waqishwit in the Sahaptin language commonly spoken in Warm Springs. A motto that many tribal people have adopted takes on new meaning when water issues hit home.

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon is home to the largest Native reservation in the state. With a land base of 1,019 square miles, the reservation also has the largest community water system operated by a tribe in the Pacific Northwest. Through my father’s side of my family I’ve been enrolled with the Confederated Tribes since 1989.

In a statement to OPB in April, Bobby Brunoe, general manager of natural resources for the tribe, said, “To this day people are very aware of water and how important it is to us, because it’s in all our ceremonies and embedded in our culture.”

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