MISSION – COVID-19 has hit the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation hard, as it has the rest of Umatilla County. However, a report being circulated that CTUIR is pulling out of the Pendleton Round-Up the second full week of September, is false.
“Just a rumor,” Interim Deputy Executive Director Matthew Johnson wrote in an email. “There is definitely a lot of concern about how safe Round-Up is going to be, and individual tribal members and certain families are likely to be discouraging their own families from participating, but to my knowledge the Board (of Trustees) is not planning to take a public position or considering pulling out of Round-Up.”
Tribal participants are an integral part of the week-long celebration. That includes the Teepee Village behind the Round-Up Grounds, participation in the Happy Canyon Night Pageant, Tribal dancing and beauty pageants, and rolling out for the non-motorized Westward Ho! Parade. Members of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla tribes have participated in the Round-Up since it began in 1910.
It also serves as a magnet to tribal groups throughout the nation, with sizeable delegations from the tribes of the Yakama, Colville, Spokane, Nez Perce, Shoshone, Bannock, Warm Springs, Paiute, Coeur d’Alene, and Rock Creek take part in the festivities.