WRG Report Summary
II. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  1. Study of CTUIR Enrollment and Population

    The purposes of this study of CTUIR enrollment are (1) to document the historical trends of change evident in CTUIR blood quantum reserves and in population and (2) to examine the possible impacts of proposed changes in the CTUIR Tribal enrollment ordinance. During the Fall of 1989, I (Deward Walker, Jr.) was invited to undertake this study because of my prior research into this subject among other tribes and because of my long familiarity with the CTUIR. The study was deemed necessary by Tribal leaders because of changes being proposed in the CTUIR enrollment ordinance. Or primary concern to Tribal leaders has been the increasing number of Tribal members who are marrying outside of the CTUIR. This growing trend may have negative effects on the future of the CTUIR. For example, increasing out-marriage with other tribes and with non-Indians may be causing fewer and fewer children born to CTUIR parents to be eligible for Tribal membership, because growing numbers of them lack the necessary one-fourth blood quantum requirement. Such increasing marriage out of the CTUIR may also be resulting in a loss of lands held individually be Tribal members. CTUIR lands held by individual Tribal members have declined significantly and in a manner parallel to the decline we describe below in CTUIR blood quantum reserves. Not only is there widespread agreement on this, but there is general agreement that with increasing CTUIR out-marriage, fewer children born to CTUIR parents are qualifying for membership, thus diminishing population growth.

  2. CTUIR Study of the Population of the Umatilla Reservation and Umatilla County

    This report provides analyses and projections through the year 2025 for three populations associated with the Umatilla Indian Reservation: 1) Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) enrolled members on and off the reservation, 2) the total Indian population in Umatilla County, and 3) the total population on Umatilla Reservation.

    The projections in this analysis are based upon data and a series of assumptions provided by the U.S. Census, BIA Population and Labor Force Reports, Eastern Oregon State College (EOSC) Economic and Social Needs Survey, various reports prepared for the CTUIR, and upon other data provided by the CTUIR planning and enrollment offices. All sources of data used in the population analysis of Umatilla Reservation and Umatilla County indicate that the number of CTUIR members, the total Indian population in Umatilla County, and the total population on the reservation are currently increasing at a rapid rate. Much of the growth can be attributed to a large number of new enrollments into the CTUIR, and to high rates of in-migration by Indians into Umatilla County. Currently there are a number of economic development plans under way on the reservation that have strengthened the local economy. The creation of more jobs and improved living conditions are major contributors to the high rates of in-migration and CTUIR enrollment. In the case of CTUIR, an additional factor underlies the increased rate of new enrollments. The revised Enrollment Ordinance has allowed previously ineligible Indians to join the CTUIR. We predict that as current economic development plans are completed and the local economy begins to stabilize, and as the pool of Indians eligible for CTUIR membership diminishes, migration and enrollment rates will decrease. Decreases in the amount of in-migration and in new enrollments will consequently lead to a slowing of population growth.

    Both the CTUIR Indians and non-CTUIR Indians are aging populations in that the proportion of elderly persons is increasing over time; however, the number of school age children is also increasing.

    The indications at this point suggest that the reservation economy is strong and will continue to grow into the next millennium. In addition, strategies have been developed by the CTUIR to address not only economic development, but also the housing needs of Indians living on the reservation. It is probable that population growth will continue to be high for the next several years and will begin to diminish only as economic development plans are completed and the local economy stabilizes.