A buffalo hide drum bearing a painted portrait of Walla Walla Chief Yellow Bird was presented to Port of Kennewick officials Tuesday as a symbol of friendship and cooperation.
Carl Sampson of the Walla Walla tribe, which is part of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, painted the two-foot diameter drum with a likeness of the 19th century chief as a gift.
Yellow Bird, whose Native American name was Peo-Peo-Mox-Mox, died in the 1860s after being pursued by members of the Oregon militia who executed him near present-day Touchet, said Tim Arntzen, port executive director.
Tuesday's presentation represents a mutual respect between the port and the tribe, Arntzen said, noting that the port obtained the drum three years ago, and Sampson agreed to paint the chief's portrait as a gift.
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Sampson, who also uses the name Peo-Peo-Mox-Mox, and studied at the Chicago Art Institute, told port commissioners Tuesday at the presentation that he was looking forward to working with the port to display Native American cultural items.
"The port is becoming better friends with the Umatilla tribes, and we're trying to strengthen our relationship with them," Arntzen said.
The port's efforts to develop Clover Island and other property along the riverfront in Kennewick, including Duffy's Pond just east of the marina and boat moorage area, will require cooperation from the tribes, Arntzen noted.
"We know that it is part of their original homeland," he said.
Also Tuesday, port officials decided to make the process of appointing a replacement to retiring District 1 Commissioner David Hanson's seat as public as possible.
Hanson, who will officially retire April 1, has served 10 years on the port. He plans to take an extended vacation with his wife.
Applications will be accepted at the port offices on Clover Island and the port's website, www.portofkennewick. org, through April 27. Commissioners will spend the first week in May reviewing the applications, and conduct interviews at a special meeting May 9.
All candidate interviews will be done in public, and public comments will be allowed during the meeting, said commission Chairman Skip Novakovich.
The two remaining commissioners will vote on Hanson's replacement at the meeting, with the oath of office to occur at the May 27 commission meeting.
Novakovich said the goal is to complete the process within 90 days of Hanson's retirement. If it goes longer than 90 days, state law requires the Benton County Board of Commissioners to make the appointment.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org