Policies Concerning the Nez Perce

This case study was written by Joshua Kryston, a lower division undergraduate student who is not an earth science major, as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education. The pages in this case study reflect the personal views of the student author and not of MSU, SERC or the NSF.
Solar panels being worked on near Twin Falls, Idaho. Details

Development Policies

The Nez Perce Tribe has become actively involved with the EPA, DOE, and USDA to create sound developmental policies that compliment the traditional Nez Perce way of life with a bit of modern technology. Energy developments have included solar panel construction as well as bio-diesel programs in order to create more efficient and less harmful forms of energy production. Working with the USDA, the Nez Perce Tribe has been establishing programs that concern waste management policies and agricultural practices. Arguably the most profound bilateral action has concerned environmental protection.

Otis Halfmoon, a U.S. Park Ranger, kneeling at BigHole Ntn'l Battleground. Details

Environmental Policies

Focusing on what matters most, the Nez Perce have eagerly participated in developing the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. In doing so they have been able to keep track of their most precious resources of all - the water and salmon. Settlements such as the Nez Perce Water Rights Settlement have allowed more freedom and jurisdiction over a territory that once belonged to no single body of people, but an entire community of both the living and non-living. Although there is still much work to be done, progress is on the rise.

A biologist monitors salmonoids along a stream near Clearwater, ID. Details

Health Policies

The main focus concerning health for the Nez Perce is education. A major initiative has been taken by an organization called Tribal Connections, which hopes to raise communication, education, and support within both the medical community and American Indian community. Once education about the health concerns has been spread, each tribe may work towards confronting them. A major step being taken by the Nez Perce has been the waste management initiative and the initiative to revitalize salmon populations. By gaining success in these two areas the Nez Perce will have clean water to drink, clean land on which to live, and a regrowth of a dietary source, not to mention a revitalization of a cultural symbol.

To further investigate policies made on issues concerning the Nez Perce, follow the links below.

Policy Resources Concerning the Nez Perce

Resources containing information about the policies concerning the Nez Perce

For ideas on how to use these webpages in a classroom, a Study Guide is provided.