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Yakama Nation History

Map of Ceded Area & Reservation

Lands ceded to the federal government during the 1855 Treaty signing included over 12 million acres of land. But tribal elders have said that their distance of travel sometimes took them as far north as Canada and as far south as California.

The reserved portion of the tribal people's original home land is where the tribes and bands were moved to. Tribal leaders reserved the right to fish, hunt and gather all of the tribe's traditional foods on the reservation as well as the ceded area. Although the Treaty was signed on June 9, 1855 it did not become valid until ratified March 8, 1859 by the U.S. Senate and proclaimed law by the President on April 18, 1859. And just one month after the treaty was signed Governor Stevens through northwest newspapers declared all ceded lands open and available for white settlement.

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