United States Government’s Analysis of the Impacts of Federal Dams on Columbia BasinTribes Restores the Rule of Law and Supports Immediate Action to Prevent Salmon Extinction, Nez Perce Tribe Says

Lapwai, ID — Today, the Nez Perce Tribe heralded the United States’ release of its analysis of
the federal Columbia River dams’ impacts on Columbia Basin Tribes as reinforcing the
obligations of the United States to honor its Treaty and trust obligations and to take immediate
action to prevent salmon extinction. This comprehensive “Tribal Circumstances Analysis”
report documents the devastating impacts of federal Columbia River dams on Columbia Basin
Tribes and provides critical recommendations for upholding the federal government’s Treaty and
trust responsibilities.
“The United States – by telling the truth about the historic and ongoing injustices the federal
dams have imposed on our people and by embracing its Treaty and trust obligations – is
upholding the rule of law and highlighting the urgency to act to prevent salmon extinction,” said
Shannon Wheeler, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee.
The Columbia Basin Tribes, joined by the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians and the
National Congress of American Indians, all criticized the 2020 Columbia River System
Operations Environmental Impact Statement’s failure to evaluate the impact of federal dams on
the Columbia Basin Tribes and on the United States’ fulfillment of its Treaty and trust
“The Tribal Circumstances Analysis is a stark reminder that the federal dams were built on the
backs of our Tribal Nations and our people, and continue to decimate our salmon populations
and our culture, sovereignty, and way of life,” Chairman Wheeler continued. “We know we
must act urgently to prevent extinction, and this report reaffirms the need for the United States
and us to move forward together as Treaty partners. We look forward to continuing to work with
the United States to take bold and immediate actions to ensure a future where our rivers run free,
our salmon return in abundance, and our people thrive,” Wheeler concluded.