Meet Jeremy Takala
Listen or read now
Jeremy Takala, Pax’una’shut in the Yakama language, is of the Kahmiltpah Band (Rock Creek) located on the Columbia River. An elected member of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council, Takala grew up in Goldendale, WA, fishing, hunting, and connecting with his heritage as a drummer and gatherer for the Rock Creek Longhouse.
“I’m passionate about upholding my tribe’s Treaty Rights with the federal government and protecting resources for those yet born,” explains Councilman Takala, who is also vice chair of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.
Takala collaborates with Columbia Riverkeeper staff on a number of fronts, including advocating for a just transition from fossil fuels along the Columbia River and salmon recovery.
“The Columbia River, as my aunt would say, is the veins of Mother Earth,” says Takala. “It’s like us. The blood of who we are and the blood of Mother Earth flows here.”
For over a decade, Columbia Riverkeeper has worked in solidarity with Yakama Nation to oppose a pumped-storage hydroelectric development proposed at a sacred site known as Pushpum, a place where there is an abundance of traditional foods and medicines. The developer would excavate and destroy multiple Indigenous Traditional Cultural Properties, and the development would prevent Indigenous people’s access to exercise ceremonial practices and Treaty-gathering rights. According to the Washington Dept. of Ecology, the development’s impacts to Tribes are “adverse” and “unmitigable.”
“I value Columbia Riverkeeper’s efforts in fighting for strong salmon runs, action in the face of the climate crisis, and a just transition that does not trample over Treaty Rights and repeat generations of injustices,” explained Takala.
Columbia Riverkeeper will continue fighting for the opportunity to create a better future.
Your Impact in 2023
Want to hear all the stories from Columbia Riverkeeper's Currents Issue 3, 2023 Newsletter?
Help us protect and restore the Columbia River.