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Oregon tribes only want wolves that are self-directed

Like the state and federal governments, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is preparing for the return of wolves to the Eastern Oregon landscape.Wolves have a special place in American Indian culture, including the tribes on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, said Bobbie Conner, director of Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. Like the well-known coyote, wolves are members of the canine family, as are dogs that were used as pack animals and for hunting long before horses came to America.

“Canines are an important part of our history,” Conner said. “The whole canine family has value and importance. They’re another part of creation. They have a right to be here.”

Wolves, like other animals, show up in old stories and even in petroglyphs. Along with cougars and bears, wolves are also relatives in creation beliefs, Conner said. Wolf is a common name on the reservation…

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