CTUIR Command Incident Command Status Update for March 24, 2020

Press Release from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
For immediate release: March 24, 2020
Carrie Sampson-Samuels, Public Information Officer – Public Health, (541) 240-8728
Jiselle Halfmoon, Public Information Officer – Tribal Governance, (541) 969-4801

CTUIR Command Incident Command Status Update

MISSION, Ore. – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) Incident Command Team (ICT) is working on several plans to ensure the safety of the entire community. The ICT continues to monitor and manage the emerging situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a very serious situation with Tribal, Local, National and International implications.

The ICT will share information on a frequent and regular basis as quickly as decisions are made. They have reviewed and considered all recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) as they become available, however, the CTUIR has the authority to choose how the guidance is used in our community.

As of 8:00am today, Oregon now has a total of 209 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, after the Oregon Health Authority announced 18 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

OHA is reporting new cases in the following counties: Clackamas (3), Clatsop (1), Jackson (1), Marion (2), Multnomah (4) and Washington (7). Additionally, the Oregon Health Authority reported that COVID-19 has claimed three more lives in Oregon, raising the state’s death total to eight.


Current CTUIR guidelines/updates as of March 24, 2020 at 5:00pm are as follows:


  • BOT will convene during their regular morning work session on Monday March 30, to ratify the following polled items:
    • Motion to approve Administrative Leave for 37.5 hours for government staff
    • Motion to deactivate Flood Response Incident Command Team and move into recovery
    • Motion to approve adopted Resolution 20-028
  • Effective immediately, all forms of traditional sweat are temporarily banned until further notice due to the possibility of contracting the COVID-19 virus between people in a sweat lodge and the potential of exacerbating (worsening) any respiratory issues.
  • The CTUIR Department of Children and Family Services provided firewood to five elder homes. These efforts will continue as staff work to obtain additional resources and supplies.
  • First Food sustenance distribution for tribal households will occur on March 27, 11AM – 1PM at the DNR Fish & Wildlife freezer located physically on “A” Street South of the Umatilla BIA campus. Additional requests for tribal households will go by the following protocol:
    • CTUIR members may call CTUIR DCFS at 541-729-7300 to request available stored (frozen) meat and or fish for family subsistence needs, subject to supply, with priority given to seniors and those unable to provide for themselves. Tribal members must:
      • Bring Tribal ID to fish/meat pick up,
      • One fish and one packet of meat allowed per Tribal member (deer, elk, or bison);
      • Bring own bag/containers for fish and/or meat pick up; CTUIR will not provide bag or containers,
  • DCFS provides list of CTUIR member name, fish and meat requests to DNR Fisheries Administrative Assistant by Thursday, March 26, COB, 4pm;
  • DNR Fisheries staff will be on site at Freezer from 10:45 to 1:15 pm, Friday, March 27;
  • CTUIR member drives to DNR F&W Freezer for pick up, provides identification, receives meat/fish, DNR Admin Assistant and CTUIR member maintain social distancing as possible.

The CTUIR Department of Natural Resources will process all permits to pre-selected hunters who will attempt to harvest elk for community subsistence meat distribution. The hunters will not be hunting for themselves. The harvested animals, once processed and packaged, will be made available to the community as per the previously described protocol for distribution of meat stored in the F&W Freezer. We will apprise the CTUIR membership if there are any changes to hunt permit processes or opportunities if/when they are made.

  • For distribution of fish and meat to CTUIR members from the Fish and Wildlife Freezer: Due to limited supply, DNR will only be able to distribute one fish and one package of meat per household – not one fish & one package of meat for each CTUIR member in each household.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is made up of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes, formed under the Treaty of 1855 at the Walla Walla Valley, 12 statute 945. In 1949, the Tribes adopted a constitutional form of government to protect, preserve and enhance the treaty rights guaranteed under federal statute.