Rodney Cawston, CCT Chairman joined the group at the Grand Coulee Dam and sheared tribal history and information about Natural Resources.



Linda McLean

22 Nespelem/San Poil St.

PO Box 150

Nespelem, WA 99155

(509) 634-2305

2019 NW IAC Youth Summit  - Success!

(Omak, July 2019) The Colville Reservation was the host site for the 2019 NW IAC (Intertribal Agriculture Council) Youth Food Sovereignty Summit, July 8 – 10.  Eighteen youth ages 13 – 25, representing seven different tribes, participated and learned about agriculture and what they can do to help ensure food sovereignty/food security on their reservations.

Colville Reservation WSU Extension partnered with IAC and the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) to host three days of fun-filled education about natural resources, agriculture, native culture and 4-H Positive Youth Development. “Learning how to grow and produce food is vital,” stated Linda McLean, Colville Reservation WSU Extension Director. “Without access to safe, healthy and affordable food, communities can suffer and lives can be negatively impacted by hunger and disease.”

This youth summit showcased the efforts that the Colville Confederated Tribes and the surrounding communities are putting forth for the preservation of natural resources and the development of agriculture. To provide for more of a hands-on learning approach, several physical tours were incorporated. We  toured: CCT Forestry Greenhouses to learn about the reforestation program; Grand Coulee Dam to learn about the Columbia Irrigation Project; Gebber’s Farms to learn about the orchard industry and how science can play a large part in agriculture; Okanogan Interpretive Center to learn about native culture and how the river impacted tribes; CCT Chief Joe Fish Hatchery to learn about salmon recovery projects and fish harvest; and Delap Orchards to learn about and sample different fruits grown in the Okanogan valley. 

The youth also had opportunities for hands-on learning through various activities: basket making, creating honey products, hearing about 4-H projects from Colville Reservation 4-H members and a drone demonstration and discussion about the beneficial uses for drones in the agriculture industry.

This Youth Summit is designed to expose Native youth to potential careers in agriculture and to help them achieve skills and resources to be successful in the agriculture industry. We also heard presentations from government agencies– USDA, FRTEP, APHIS, NRCS and FSA – on how they can help with Indian agriculture and about careers in all these programs for the youth to explore. 

If you would like more information on this or other Extension programs, please contact Linda McLean, Colville Reservation WSU Extension Director, (509) 634-2305 or Or you may contact the WSU Ferry County Extension office at, (509) 775-5225 ext. 1116 or the WSU Okanogan County Extension office (509) 422-7245.Extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local Extension office.


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