Ceremony formalizes tribal relationship with Kennewick

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The nez perce tribe reclaimed ownership of property from the united methodist church and a small ceremony thursday as emily swing reports. It's been more than one hundred and forty years since the tribe held rights to that land. Roughly forty people gathered for a small land. Transfer ceremony in will allow oregon nez perce tribal chairman shannon wheeler ended the deed to the property. The ceremony was broadcast live on facebook. This land and our people being forced off of this land and the tears of sorrow as we left today if you shed a tear. That's okay because they're tears of joy now and so are are tears of joy in our happiness today will also be felt by them are as esters in passed in eighteen. Fifty five nez perce chief. Joseph signed a treaty with the us government that granted millions of acres of land to the tribe but twenty years. Later the us army drove the nez perce from that same land. The nez perce are also known as the nemi. Pu people reverend karen hernandez is the district superintendent of the united methodist church in eastern idaho and southern oregon. She handed over keys to a now closed. Methodist church that sits on. What's now nez perce. Land and willa proved people in a gracious spirit of friendship are willing to meet us here as we take this small step toward justice. It blesses us knowing that land that methodists made good use of here but it was never rightfully ours. It is now most rightfully yours. This is the second land transfer from the united methodist church. Three years ago the tribe took ownership of one and a half acres along the lower river. Where the church held retreats for national native news. I'm emily swing

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