Leah Conner (Umatilla) talks about an attack on her family by militia which killed her great-grandparents. 1:51.
Bio: Leah Conner was an elder of Umatilla, Cayuse and Nez Perce ancestry, who holds three degrees in education and fine arts. She passed away in November 2018.
“Oh my grandmother was a sweet old lady. Her name was Wye-as-us that means Stepping High, Dancing. Oh Wye-as-us came to this reservation after The Dalles militia. She was born on a island there and her parents were killed during the attack. And they wanted to get rid of the Indians so the militia came and threw all their food in the river. And her mother and father were killed. She had a husband too, he rode off and she never saw him again. But she was about fourteen years old. And her mother told her to get in a canoe. They always kept canoes on the eastern banks of the island. And she got in the canoe and she paddled up the Columbia to where her mother told her where she’d find her sister. And she had an older sister who was married to a French Canadian. She rode up the river to Boardman which is now called Boardmen. And found a long tepee there, a big tepee that was set into the ground about a foot. And she spent the winter there. And then she went on inland and found her sister at Fort Henrietta. And she married my grandfather Spokane Jim.”