Voters pass 1855 Treaty boundary

MISSION – Voters passed a constitutional amendment Feb. 26 that clarifies the Umatilla Indian Reservation boundaries to be used for elections of Board of Trustees members and General Council officers.

Members of the Confederated Tribes overwhelmingly voted against the “diminished boundary” advocated by previous members of the Board of Trustees, five of whom were defeated in their bids for re-election last November.

General Council members cast 286 yes votes to 136 no votes in the Special Election.

The gap may have been a wider because, BOT members said, some voters said they were confused by Election Commission voting information. Some people thought their no vote was a vote against the diminished boundary.

Nevertheless, the amendment passed.

The amendment adds the following verbiage to Article VI, Section 2: “as defined in Article 1 of the Treaty of 1855.”

This issue has been debated for more than two years within the tribal community and this vote now provides a clear interpretation of the boundaries of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in relation to elections, according to a CTUIR news release.