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Nez Perce Tribal Elder Marks “Wolf Awareness Week”

October 14, 2008

Boise, ID – This is "Wolf Awareness Week" in Idaho, and it comes at a time when the controversial predator has just been put back on the Endangered Species List.

One perspective being featured is from Allen Pinkham, a Nez Perce tribal elder and historian. Pinkham notes that wolves are not considered controversial in traditional Native American culture; in fact, names throughout Nez Perce history tie the tribe to the animal in respectful ways.

"Yellow Wolf, Red Wolf, and Wolf's Head - those are the kinds of names that were chosen. These are Nez Perce names. We always observed the wolf's behavior and how it interacted with other animals. We learned from those behaviors, the spiritual power that we sought."

Idaho ranchers from the Wood River Valley will share stories at an event on Wednesday, October 15, in Boise. They'll discuss what they're doing to reduce livestock conflict with wolves. That's cited as the main reason some Idahoans want wolves out of the state. "Night of Wolves" starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Egyptian Theater.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - ID