Honor the Ancestors.
PROTECT Indigenous tribes’ legacy of sustainability.
One way to honor the sacrifices of our ancestors is to send a Message in a Bottle.
Okanogan Highlands Bottling Company
We produced several brands of "Political Action Water" with informative labels that support a variety of issues. After you drink our delicious spring water, you can use the empty container to send a Message in a Bottle to friends, family and issue stakeholders.Why Buy Our Water?
When your business or event buys Tribal Treaty Rights water, our informative label makes people aware of Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights. They can also go to the website to gather further knowledge about Treaties. You give people the opportunity to be activists by sending a “message in a bottle” to the US Secretary of the Interior in Washington, DC. By raising these issues, we help create interest in preserving Tribal Treaty Rights and honoring the sacrifices of the Ancestors.
The Inspiration: Wilson LaMere Jr.
Tribal Treaty Rights Spring Water was conceived by Che-pow-to-cos, (aka Mununwit, aka Wilson LaMere, Junior ). Working with the Okanogan Highlands Bottling Company he helped design the art and text for the message in a bottle label. We honor his efforts to bring recognition to the issues of Tribal sovereignty and sustainability.
Known to family and friends as “Junior”, he was born in Toppenish, Washington, a member of the Ho Chunk and Yakama Nations. He was a champion Fancy-dancer and Grass-dancer in his younger days. He continued to build Pow-Wow outfits and instruments for young dancers until he passed. He truly cherished the importance of Native Culture.
Being articulate, Junior would be asked to speak at many gatherings. He spoke of the “water of life” and the need to protect it. He told us how we needed to look 7 generations down the road to see if what we were doing now would be good for those generations coming next. If it was not good, stop doing it!
Junior was one of the first Native fishermen to challenge laws prohibiting Tribal Fishing Rights in Washington State in the 1970’s. His attitude was, “We need to exercise the treaty rights our ancestors fought for. If we get arrested doing what our Treaty allows us to do, we will force the US Government to take us to court and sort it out. Let’s do this, we will win!” And win he did! He honored the sacrifices his ancestors made to benefit future generations, by challenging the status quo.
In 1974 the US Supreme Court said the Tribes had authority a to regulate tribal fisheries on and off the reservation. Junior saw this as a time to protect aboriginal rights. He would say, “We need to use our rights or we will loose our rights.” He stood up for not just Native rights but the human rights of all people. He loved justice. Fishing the Columbia River, he continuously encouraged people to stand up for themselves. He revered the legend of Tsagogolalone and would visit her site above the Columbia.
In the 1970’s Junior was at Small Boy Camp in Alberta, when US Federal Marshals arrested Leonard Peltier. While keeping fire in the medicine lodge he was warned to get out. He narrowly escaped on horseback.
Junior sought a vehicle for people to learn about Tribal Sovereignty and become activists. Tribal Treaty Rights Spring water became that vehicle. Together he and the Okanogan Highlands Bottling Company, along with Alaskan Native artist Willy Foulkes designed and manifested this water of life… Che-pow-to-cos passed away in March 2015.
We at the Okanogan Highlands Bottling Company honor the memory and inspiration of Junior LaMere and thank him for helping us create something good.
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PO Box 433
Tonasket, WA 98855
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