Coyote Stories: The new face at the CUJ

Way, hast sxľxalt, iswkist Sin-ka-leep.

(nselxcin Salish translation) Hello, good day, my Indian name is Coyote. I also go by Cary Rosenbaum, and I am a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

As of early October, I am officially a member of the Confederated Umatilla Journal staff. With that, I will be reporting for the foreseeable future and look forward to telling your stories and learning more about your way of life. I plan to share that learning process with you in the form of a column each month in hopes to encourage more culture-sharing opportunities.

From what I’ve observed thus far, there are many similarities between the Umatilla and Colville. For one, both are confederations. Also, both include Washat, or Seven Drums, which is a prevalent part of my culture back home. The Nimiipuu sahaptin language is one of our three active languages, though fluent speakers comprise a small demographic of my tribe. I was saddened to read your Cayuse language “disappeared,” but it sounds like the Nimiipuu language has supplanted that.

Turning through the pages of the past newspapers, I have seen several last names that exist between both the Colville and the Umatilla. Among my tribe, I would typically declare my maternal and paternal grandparents’ names to help people identify me, but since this is a new situation, let’s just leave it as: If you know anyone from my neck of the woods (Inchelium, Nespelem, Omak, Keller, beyond) with the last name Marchand, Laramie, Zaugg, Shaffer, Boyd, Stensgar/Stanger, or Louie, there’s a good chance I’m related to them.

I have moderate familiarity with this area, but my family history here is growing. Two of my brothers were Indian Relay racers who participated in Round-Up. And back in 2016, my wife and I enjoyed a trip to Wildhorse Resort & Casino after getting married through the state.

Despite the current pandemic holding back public interaction, it appears this reservation is a very lively place. I cannot wait to start learning more. Above all, I hope to earn your trust to be able to effectively tell your stories in the tribal newspaper. I believe storytelling is a powerful tool, one utilized by our ancestors since time immemorial. Since our tribes have begun writing histories, such as those first drafts we see in newspapers, there has been an opening for a nice blend of history, culture, personality and tradition that I believe can enhance community and bring forth healing.

A little more about me: I went on to Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash., where I earned a bachelor’s in journalism. While in college, my tribal newspaper reached out to me and offered me a job. Since 2006, I have been actively pursuing journalism as a career, which included stops at daily and weekly newspapers. And this summer, I started an online MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship with Gonzaga University.

I am very familiar with the CUJ, having been part of the Native American Journalists Association. To be honest, this newspaper has served as an inspiration for some of my work back home. What’s been created here has been a measuring stick for Indian country’s smaller and mid-size newspapers, and I hope to help continue that legacy.

Please feel free to give me a call any time to discuss potential story ideas (ext. 7368, cell: 541-215-9597). I believe I have the patience, sensitivity and understanding to comprehend and articulate your stories so they can be presented as forms of inspiration to the present and valuable history to those who come upon them in the future.

Lim limt (Thank you in my language),


Cary Rosenbaum is a Colville Tribal member and journalist for the Confederated Umatilla Journal.