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Camas to condors

camas to condors partnership

Throughout the Greater Hells Canyon Region, the land remembers its original caretakers. Nez Perce, Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Cayuse people have been learning and relearning how to thrive here since time immemorial — at least 16,000 years. Tribal cultural values and traditional stewardship practices reflect (and require) reciprocal, sophisticated interrelationships with other species, seasonal patterns, and natural cycles of abundance across these varied homelands. 

 

The Camas to Condors Partnership (C2C) builds on a robust history of Tribal leadership in conservation in our region. Camas to Condors is a tribally-led, collaborative, multidisciplinary response to the dire threats climate change is bringing to places, species and lifeways in our shared home. The Nez Perce Tribe convened the Partnership in 2019 to interweave cultural perspectives and practices into landscape-scale climate adaptation planning in Nimiipuu homelands. 

 

Greater Hells Canyon Council is proud to be a founding member of the Partnership. We help with facilitation, grant writing, communications, and strategy. Together, C2C partners work to empower traditional knowledge keepers in land management in our region, recognizing that humans who are intimately interdependent with their land base are an umbrella species: cultural thriving requires (and restores) robust ecosystem processes across the whole homeland.

Musselshell Meadows - Camas Flower 2022 - Meadow Wheaton.jpg

Camas flower at Musselshell Meadows. Photo by Meadow Wheaton.

The Camas to Condors Mission is to build culturally relevant conservation power in the Nez Perce homelands; to develop and share a holistic vision for climate, cultural, and ecological resilience; and to grow an ethical, inclusive, and adaptive restoration economy (a healing economy). 


We envision a shared home where the time-tested Indigenous relationship with the land is honored as a model of resilience; where land protection is restitution for past harm; where land restoration is an arena for eco-cultural healing and a foundation of the regional economy; and where stewardship priorities shape land management that is responsive, holistic, and just.

Our Projects
  • The Seasonal Round Trail — a living lab along an ancient travel corridor spanning the elevational gradient of the Nez Perce homeland. Along the trail, Native gatherers will tend and restore ancestral harvest sites, and monitor climate and management impacts on their foods. Contact Stefanie Krantz to learn more. 

  • Weetespeme Stewardship Program — the Nez Perce Tribe's first youth conservation corps, employing indigenous youth, young adults, and mentors to support the Nez Perce Tribe and C2C's efforts in land stewardship, climate adaptation, and monitoring in Nez Perce Homeland. For more information, contact Tiyana Casey.

  • Joseph Canyon Conservation Action Plan — C2C’s flagship effort to coalesce around conservation outcomes for our focal landscape: the Joseph Creek Watershed in Northeast Oregon. Contact Angela Sondenaa to learn more. 

  • Cross-Cultural Place-Based Collaboration in the Indigenous Homelands of the Columbia Plateau: A Starter Guide — a handbook and resource library crystallizing the learning we’ve done about cross-cultural collaboration as we established the Camas to Condors partnership. Contact Christina deVillier to learn more. 

  • Rural Cinema — Hitéewinix Á'la Film Series, sharing films on Indigenous Sovereignty and Tribally-Led Climate Adaptation & Land Stewardship (using a solar powered outdoor cinema!). Hiteewinix A'la translates roughly to "sacred fire" which recalls the ubiquitous use of fire to manage forests and important gathering sites for the Nez Perce/Nimiipuu. For more information contact Meadow Wheaton.

You can find out much more about the Camas to Condors partnership in this story map. Or contact christina@hellscanyon.org with inquiries.

Camas to Condors Partners

Thank you to our funders: the Network for Landscape Conservation; the Bureau of Indian Affairs; the National Science Foundation; Roundhouse Foundation; Meyer Memorial Trust; Mosaic Foundation; and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

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