Secretary Granholm, Northwest Tribal Leaders Gather for Dinner

Front row, from left, are Marie Wyena, elder, Wanapum Band of Indians; Dana Miller, tribal councilman, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Yakama Nation); N. Kathryn Brigham, Board of Trustees chair, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR); Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm; Samuel Penney, Tribal Executive Council chair, Nez Perce Tribe; and Clayton Buck, leader, Wanapum Band of Indians. Back row, from left, are Brian Vance, Hanford Site manager; Jeremy Takala, tribal councilman, Yakama Nation; and Toby Patrick, Board of Trustees member, CTUIR.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently joined leaders from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and the Wanapum Band of Indians for a dinner in Richland, Washington.

“I come with open eyes to see, open ears to listen and an open mind to learn from you — the foremost experts in this region and leaders — about the work DOE is advancing under this administration,” said Granholm.

The dinner the evening before the secretary’s visit to the Hanford Site on Aug. 12 was an opportunity for Granholm to hear directly from regional tribal leaders about the importance of Hanford’s landscape, natural resources and sacred sites, and how they have been woven into the tribes’ cultural identities since time immemorial.

Discussions focused on access to and protection of sacred sites and natural and cultural resources; Columbia River dams and protection of salmon; funding to develop and maintain tribal technical capacity to support meaningful engagement at the Hanford Site; and efforts to actively engage in revising DOE’s orders and policies for interacting with tribes.

Granholm shared DOE’s initiatives to work with programs funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ensure that tribes are aware of new opportunities offered by these programs, and that these opportunities consider tribal equities and input.