The Tenino people are a Native American people who reside on the
Warm Springs Reservation which is southeast of Portland, Oregon. The reservation headquarter is located in Warm Springs, Oregon and is home to a confederation of three tribes: the Tenino Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute people.
Their language is related to the Sahaptin languages. Their specific dialect, the Ichishkiin, is an endangered language with about fifty speakers. There are no fluent speakers under the age of fifty. A language program is in place to revitalize their native tongue.
Annually they observe several festivals of giving thanks based on important foods. For instance, the root feast (Xnit Sapálwit) is celebrated in the spring recognizing the first appearance of many important roots. The first catch (Nusux Sapálwit), or Salmon Feast, is celebrated in the Spring recognizing the migration of salmon. The huckleberry feast (Wiwinu Sapálwit) is celebrated in early fall recognizing the ripening of the first berries.
Today, the river and its salmon continue as a crucial focal point for cultural traditions and the entire region. Salmon feasts and ceremonies have taken place next to the Columbia River for thousands of years. To call salmon a staple of the tribal diet would be an understatement. Historically, the typical tribal member ate almost a pound of salmon every day, but salmon represented much more than a source of nutrition. It also shaped their society and religion.
Warm Springs Tenino are Shakers, Baptists, and other Protestant denominations.
Pray that Tenino Christians will boldly share their faith with their own people, other Native American peoples, and beyond.
Pray for Tenino Christians to grow in faith and live a lifestyle that exemplifies the fruits of the Spirit.
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