Colville Tribes Granted Rights To Manage Tribal Water Resources

CREDIT: GARY WILSON
CREDIT: GARY WILSON

Listen

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville are celebrating an expansion of their sovereign rights. The federal government has granted them jurisdiction over water resources on tribal lands in northeastern Washington state.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the Colville Tribes’ application for what’s called “Treatment as a State” designation. That means rather than meeting water quality standards laid out by Washington state or the county, the Tribes can develop and enforce their own.

In a statement, Tribal Chairman Michael Marchand said the designation further expands tribal jurisdiction over lands and waters in Colville territory. 

The Colville Tribes cannot alter water quality standards outside of their reservation, but they can offer comments on activities upstream that might affect water resources on the reservation. 

Any water quality standards adopted by the Tribes still have to meet federal regulatory requirements under the Clean Water Act.

An EPA spokesman said 55 other tribes in the United States also have designations that allow them to be treated in a similar manner as a state.

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network

Related Stories:

The Julia Keefe Indigenous Big Band posed for a commemorative photo after their premiere in Olympia on May 19, 2022.

To ‘Honor The Shoulders We Stand On:’ Big Band Premieres With Nod To History Of Native Jazz Musicians

A scheme to entertain a 4-year-old youngster in Spokane by playing a jazz album nearly three decades ago produced a cascade of aftereffects that culminated on stage in Olympia, Washington, this month with crescendos of horns and multiple standing ovations. During the debut of a 16-piece, all-Indigenous big band, the performers on stage hearkened even further back in history to celebrate the little-known, but long line of Native jazz musicians and big bands. Continue Reading To ‘Honor The Shoulders We Stand On:’ Big Band Premieres With Nod To History Of Native Jazz Musicians

Read More »