The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission has received a $7,500 grant from the Wildhorse Foundation to help offset the cost of safety equipment for local tribal anglers, including life jackets and emergency beacons.

CRITFC plans to unveil its new cost-sharing program July 28 at the Indian Fishers Expo in Hood River.

“The Columbia River offers many gifts and many challenges,” said Jaime Pinkham, CRITFC executive director. “Adequate safety equipment can make the difference between life and death.”

The Wildhorse Foundation grant was submitted as part of CRITFC’s campaign to increase safety for tribal fishers on the river, and comes just a month after Greg George, a fishery technician for the group and member of the Yakama Nation, died after a four-person research boat he was on capsized in the Columbia River Gorge.

CRITFC is also working to establish a Columbia River Fishers Memorial at Columbia Hills State Park near Dallesport, Washington.

The Wildhorse Foundation is managed by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in partnership with Wildhorse Resort & Casino.

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