WALLOWA — A celebration marking the return of the deed and keys of the now-closed Wallowa United Methodist Church to the Nez Perce Tribe is planned.

After 144 years, the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church is returning the property as a gesture of gratitude, respect and repentance. This is the second piece of property the Oregon-Idaho Conference has returned to the Tribe. In 2018, the conference returned 1.5 acres of riverbed property from its Wallowa Lake Camp to the Tribe to be used for fish spawning habitat.

The event is Thursday, April 29, at at 11 a.m. outside of the church, located at 102 W. First St, Wallowa. Leaders from the Nez Perce Tribe and the Oregon-Idaho Conference will be on hand for the celebration. The gathering will include singing, prayers and the ceremonial sharing of gifts, followed by fellowship.

Those planning to attend are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing during the ceremony. For more information, contact Kayeloni Scott, Nez Perce Tribe communications manager, at kayelonis@nezperce.org or 208-621-4772.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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