Bill Yallup, Jr: Celilo, “Wall Street of North America”

Bill Yallup Jr (Yakama, Rock Creek) talks about the wealth of Celilo Falls and its trade importance. 2:19.

Bio: Chief William Yallup Jr. is a respected elder and river chief. His father is Chief William Yallup, Sr. and he is a direct descendant of treaty signer Wish-Och-Kmpits, and can trace relations to the chiefs Kamiakin and Skloom who were present for the treaty signing. Bill Yallup Jr is a keeper of oral history related to the treaties and strong advocate for treaty related rights.


“Yeah Celilo Falls was the Wall Street of North America at one time. I mean you know, stories about people from the Great Lakes and Canada, you know. There were people in Canada that have certain things that are part of their religious ceremonies. Maybe you can understand it as like a sacrament. Like wine and bread–a sacrament. Well these people lived way in Canada and they have no salmon, no eels, no smelt. But those are part of their sacraments. They have to have those things. They came here and got those things and take them back as part of their ceremonies. So all that is based upon trade and everything derives it’s value from salmon. You can’t, you bring something here, I honor your gift. What is it you bring, let me see what do you have? Okay those things will get you this much salmon. That’s the value I place of your goods, from now on will be worth this much. If you take it anywhere else they’ll say I can get this much salmon for this and people will go oh you know, it looks like this much money, this much gold for this, the value of it. And so that’s how you base the value of all your commodities, all your goods, all your trade. How much are you stocks worth, your trade? You know much is your company worth in dollars and things like that. That’s why it’s called the Wall Street of North America”

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