TOPPENISH, Wash. – For 70 years, wheat fields replaced historical wetland habitat on the Yakama Nation reservation. After a decades-long restoration project, paid for with mitigation funds from the Bonneville Power Administration, the wetlands have sprung back to life. Along with habitat came a sacred First Food: wapato (PDF). This small potato had lain dormant, and now tribal members are relearning (video) how to harvest, store and cook it.
Some worry other First Foods are starting to disappear – along with the traditions they support. Some traditional foods include: huckleberries, chokecherries, salmon, lammush and bitterroot.
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