Burns Paiute Tribe

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Home Paiute History Wadatika today

Wadatika today

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Wadatika today

Tribal members continue to hunt and gather traditional foods. Roots such as camas, bitterroot, and biscuitroot are dug in the spring. In late summer chokecherries and berries are gathered. People also gather willow and tule for making baskets and cradleboards. Other crafts traditional to the Burns Paiute, which are practiced in the community, include beadwork and drum-making. The hunting of elk, deer, quail and groundhog as supplemental food sources continue as well.

A yearly celebration and gathering of tribal members and neighboring tribes is the recently started annual Burns Paiute Reservation Day Pow Wow, which occurs in October. This was declared a tribal holiday in honor of the day the land held in trust for the tribe became a reservation. The Pow Wow includes traditional dancing and drumming, dance contests, a raffle, and crafts and food booths. This is a continuation of a tradition of dance in the community. During the 1950's there was a vigorous boys dance group. Later in the 1960's and 1970's, a girls dance group was active. 

Today there are 341 members of the tribe, less than 35.5% of which reside permanently on the reservation. Both the small numbers and the relatively recent formation of the tribal government and reservation have added challenges and difficulties in starting the economic and social programs that other Oregon tribes already have in place. Nonetheless, the Burns Paiute Tribe is proud of its history and culture. The tribe is currently working to gain a greater understanding of their culture, and preserve what knowledge they have of their past, all the while looking toward the future and developing a stronger, healthier community to pass on to the next generation.