Portland, OR– Umatilla tribal leader Jeremy Red Star Wolf was sworn in as the 2019-2020 chairman of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission at its July meeting, which concludes today. Outgoing CRITFC chair Ryan Smith (Warm Springs) administered the oath of office. This is the second time Wolf has served as the CRITFC chair, previously occupying this position in 2016.
Jeremy is the current Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. His Indian name, Xitsiw Ilp Ilp, means “Red Star.” He grew up on the Umatilla River in Cayuse, Oregon. His intertribal relations include the Palouse (Chief Wolf), Nez Perce (Ollicut), Warm Springs (atway Great Aunt Gina Wolf married atway Jazzy Wewa, a Warm Springs member), and Yakama (atway Grandmother Theresa Johnson of the Yakama Charlie family).
In 1996 Jeremy graduated from Weston McEwen High School in Athena, Oregon. After serving a year with Salmon Corps, Jeremy went on to graduate from Blue Mountain Community College and is an alumnus of Oregon State University’s School of Forestry with a degree in Natural Resources.
Much of Jeremy’s life has revolved around incorporating the unwritten law into the demands of present-day life: staying culturally active, earning an education, building a skillset, and staying active in tribal government. Starting as a summer hire in high school conducting habitat and monitoring and evaluation surveys for salmon, steelhead, fresh water mussels, and lamprey throughout the Confederated Umatilla Tribes’ aboriginal title lands. He worked his way up the ranks at the CTUIR Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Program from a Fisheries Technician to a Biologist.
“The four primary goals of CRITFC are: put fish back in the rivers and protect watersheds where fish live, protect tribal treaty fishing rights, share salmon culture, and provide fisher services,” said Chairman Wolf. “Our intertribal efforts to accomplish these goals help ensure that we not only retain and enhance what we have, but also provide resiliency in all our tribal foods and cultural needs into the future. Intertribal cooperation can have challenges, but when we work together as sovereigns, we provide leadership in regional federal and state coordination. In working to provide for our people and our futures, I believe we honor the sacrifices and dedication of our elders and ancestors. It is truly an honor to serve with these men and women and I thank all our families who support us in this work as well.”
Jeremy and wife Althea Huesties-Wolf have three children: Aiden, Manaia, and Stella. He is also an artist, horseman, traditional slick-style dancer, youth basketball and football coach, wild horse racer, hunter, and fisher.
The other CRITFC officers elected for the 2019-2020 term were Leland Bill (Yakama), vice-chair; Ferris Paisano (Nez Perce), secretary, and Ryan Smith (Warm Springs), treasurer. The election of CRITFC officers takes place every June with the seats rotated among the four member tribes.