Nez Perce Involvement with Solving Environmental Problems: History, Perspectives, Treaty Rights, and Obligations

  • Gabriel Bohnee
  • Jonathan Paul MatthewsEmail author
  • Josiah Pinkham
  • Anthony Smith
  • John Stanfill


The Nez Perce, like other federally recognized Tribes, is a sovereign Nation, and the United States is required to consult on a government-to-government basis with the Tribe on action that stand to effect the Tribal resources, such as the cleanup of nuclear wastes at the Hanford Facility near Richland, WA. This chapter examined the Nez Perce perspective on treaty rights and the U.S. government’s obligations, using the case study of the handling of Greater-than-Class C (GTTC) Low-Level Radioactive Waste, with an emphasis on the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site. It also provides an overview of how the Nez Perce view the environmental features and values that effect their lifeways, including seasonal rounds, gathering times, Tribal values, and Tribal perspectives. While the chapter focuses on Hanford, the history, perspectives, treaty rights, and obligations are common to other Tribes and other environmental situations.


Oral History Oral Tradition Tribal Member Hanford Site Columbia Plateau 
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Contributors include:

Gabe Bohnee-Director of the Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (ERWM) Program, Nez Perce Tribe

John Stanfill, Hanford Coordinator, ERWM Program, Nez Perce Tribe

Tony Smith, Research and Design Specialist, ERWM Program, Nez Perce Tribe

Josiah Pinkham, Ethnographer, Cultural Resources Program, Nez Perce Tribe

Mike Lopez, Attorney, Legal Council to the Nez Perce Tribe


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Bohnee
    • 1
  • Jonathan Paul Matthews
    • 1
    Email author
  • Josiah Pinkham
    • 2
  • Anthony Smith
    • 1
  • John Stanfill
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (ERWM)Nez Perce TribeLapwaiUSA
  2. 2.Cultural Resource ProgramNez Perce TribeLapwaiUSA

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