Buck Jones (Cayuse-Umatilla) is the Salmon Marketing Specialist at the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), a technical and advisory arm of the four treaty tribes with treaty fishing rights along the Columbia River: the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Nez Perce.
“Our people have been in the Gorge since time immemorial so to our people it has a special meaning. The salmon is sacred to our people. Myself, I actually started as a commercial fisher; I started salmon fishing back home in tributaries and I’d never fished on the Columbia, but I came to the Gorge a little bit in my young adult life and it’s since just grown on me. You know, when I used to travel or whatever, I’d be traveling late at night but once I got to the Gorge I was like, ‘Oh wow, I’m awake.’ So it means a lot to our people, and then working for CRITFC is just added on to that for me. Working for my people and learning some of the stories from the elders has been great.”