Water Topics

National Tribal Water Council
PO Box 15004
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5004
(480) 452-6774

Water and People

Challenges at the Interface of Symbolic and Utilitarian Values, is due out from the USDA Forest Service (Pacific Northwest) on March 7, 2008. Of particular note is Chapter 6: People of the River – People of the Salmon Wana Thlama-Nusuxmi Tanánma by Elizabeth Woody (Navajo/Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakama). Following is an excerpt, only one of many examples of Liz’s articulation of Native values pertaining to water and all associated life (which, of course, means all life):

“My tribal ceremonies begin and end with water. The food chiefs are recognized in order from the river to the mountains, and, conversely, in real life, it is the same with water. Water goes from the mountains to the Pacific Ocean as streams, creeks, and rivers, and returns from the Pacific to the mountains, as precipitation. It is our highest medicine and represents the purity of human interactions and respect as we keep it clean and revere its presence in our lives.”
View the publication here [PDF]