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In Memoriam: Bobby Begay

Bobby Begay holding a salmon

It is with heavy hearts we share that CRITFC has lost one of our own. Bobby Begay—Celilo Village leader, Yakama tribal member, and the CRITFC lead fish technician—passed away last night from COVID-19 complications. Bobby was dedicated to his family, the Celilo community, salmon, the river, and tribal culture. He was a bridgebuilder who connected many groups and individuals across cultural divides. His example of intertribal brotherhood embodied the hopes and values envisioned by tribal leaders from the Yakama, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Nez Perce tribes when they came together to form CRITFC. He was an incredibly generous person and had a willingness to share not only his harvest, but the message of why salmon, lamprey, and the river are central to our culture. He did so for countless groups with enthusiasm and humor. We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family Megan, Daisy, Steven, Henry, and Jackie, and the entire Celilo Village and mourn with them the loss of a remarkable man.