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Oregon Tribal Members Ride Horses to Capitol to be Heard on Water Issues

Members of the group Honor the Treaty of 1864 saddled up their horses in Chiloquin, Oregon and have been riding their mounts over the Cascades to the state Capitol in Salem. They plan to arrive in Salem Wednesday, June 24 and rally on the issues of tribal water rights, the Klamath Basin Water Agreements, Senate Bill 133 and a proposed LNG pipeline.

S. 133 in the U.S. Senate is the Klamath Basin Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act of 2015.

According to Honor the Treaty of 1864: "The group ride stands for the right for the voice of the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin people to be heard. While tribal politicians often publicize their agenda it is rare that the tribal people have an opportunity to have their voice heard.”

Tribal member Garin Riddle says in press statement  that “the ride shows the lengths we are willing to endure to exercise our right to be fully heard and understood. We the people are against fracking pipelines, we are against Senate Bill 133, and we are against any negotiations relinquishing our treaty rights."

Members of Honor the Treaty of 1864 have been calling attention to disagreements over the way tribal representatives are negotiating Klamath Basin water agreements.

According to a press release: Quinten Bettles the ride organizer said:

“The riders are carrying with them an Oregon State flag that was obtained by Priscilla Bettles from former Oregon Governor Tom Mcall and given to Marine Cecil J. Bettles when he shipped out to Vietnam. As Cecil was leaving Vietnam he met Marine Ray Fryberg who just arrived in Vietnam. Ray Fryberg brought this flag home and gave the state flag to Marine Quinten J. Bettles whom passed the flag once again. This flag was passed to a 7th Generation Marine named Cecil K. Bettles whom carried the colors throughout his tour in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004. Marine Cecil K. Bettles brought the flag home once again and this is the flag that is being carried to the State Capitol. This Oregon State flag was carried with honor at peril of life and limb by United States Marines who are also Tribal people.

Riders plan to present the flag to Governor Kate Brown and ask her ‘Will you Honor the treaty of 1864’?”

Supporters are welcome to join in Salem or along the route. To offer support or join the rally, contact Eric Cooper 541-591-0975 or Quinten Bettles 541-591-0952.

More information at facebook.com/treatyof1864

Photos courtesy the Bettles family.