Warm Springs tribal leader Carlos Smith was selected by leaders from the Umatilla, Yakama, Nez Perce, and Warm Springs tribes to lead the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) as its new chair. Carlos serves on tribal council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. Mr. Smith will assume the chairmanship on July 24 during the Commission’s July meeting.
An avid fisher and hunter, Mr. Smith regularly exercises his treaty-reserved fishing rights along the Columbia River and on the Warm Springs Reservation. In addition to his position on the Warm Springs Tribal Council, Mr. Smith also serves on the Warm Springs Power Enterprise Board and is the General Manager of Kah-Nee-Ta Resort and Spa.
“My time fishing with family and friends on the Columbia, Deschutes and all of the treaty rivers will contribute to my work with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission,” said Smith. “I believe it is not just our responsibility, but our duty to fight for these fish and treaty fishing rights for our children and future generations.”
Mr. Smith takes over for Brooklyn Baptiste (Nez Perce). Brooklyn has served as chairman since May 2014 when he assumed the chairmanship from Joel Moffett who did not seek re-election to the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee
The Nez Perce leadership guided the commission through a year that saw important advancements for the renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty, historic salmon returns for fall chinook in the Snake River Basin, important legal victories that halted megaload transportation through the Nez Perce Reservation, a successful Future of Our Salmon Conference that explored restoring fish passage to historic locations and the release of an updated salmon restoration plan, Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit.
“The Nez Perce Tribe has set the bar for leadership. The Nez Perce’s passion and commitment to healthy salmon runs provide a solid platform to take CRITFC far into the next year,” said Smith. “The region has made important progress throughout the Columbia River Basin, but there is still work to do. I look forward to working with the other tribes, as well as our federal and state partners, to expand on our shared successes.”
The other CRITFC officers elected were Gerald Lewis (Yakama), vice chair; Kat Brigham (Umatilla), secretary; and Brooklyn Baptiste (Nez Perce), treasurer. The election of CRITFC officers takes place every June with the seats rotated among the four member tribes.
Information on CRITFC and its newly elected officials is available online at the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission website.