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wal’wáanim méex̣sem - Wallowa Mountain

Some of Our Team

Mystina Spino-McCormack - Board Member, Warm Springs enrolled – Warm Springs, OR
  • Raised on both the Warm Springs and Lapwai reservations
  • Employed as a Computer and GIS technician.
  • Employed to serve Tribal Youth for summer working program
  • Learning the Ichishkiin dialect.
  • Adopted Mother – Jessiah and Jessica
  • Attending Central Oregon Community College, studying Natural Resources and Forestry. ​
  • Previous work - Fish Habitat: studying the reservation rivers and creeks; l fish populations, reproduction patterns, breeding and tagging of hatchery fish; Forestry Restoration - thinning; and Fire Management
"I want to educate youth and other community members about these fields and how they are equally important; not only to sustain our way of living, but how losing any one of these natural resources will effect ourselves and our culture”
Bessie Elise Walker - Niimiipuu.JPG
Bessie Walker - Founder, Director, Volunteer Manager - Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) - Lapwai, ID.
Although Bessie has been practicing the Nimiipuu dialect for over twenty years, and teaching for 15 years on the Nez Perce reservation, she says: 
"I am not fluent. I am a lifetime student. I am certified to teach through the Idaho Department of Education but most importantly, I have been approved by fluent Nimiipuutímt speakers; some who are now gone."
  • Indian Language Certification from the State of Idaho – Edu ID 783813657
  • Nez Perce Language Tribal Certification – Resolution NP 14-226/ NP 19-045
  • Language – Revitalizer. Advocator. Speaker. Curriculum Developer, Teacher
  • Earned Bachelor and Associate degree at Lewis-Clark State College.
  • One of the many granddaughters of Horace and Andrea Axtell.
Brenda Axtell - Board Member, Niimiipuu (Nez Perce) enrolled - Lapwai, Id
  • Youngest daughter of Horace and Andrea Axtell
  • Currently works at the Nimiipuu Health Clinic in Lapwai, Id.
  • Master Seamstress, Beadworker, & Regalia seamstress
  • Mother of two Niimiipuu enrolled daughters: Sally and Lillian.
  • Grandmother of seven grandchildren, and one passed.
  • Gatherer of the Niimiipuu Longhouse
Althea Walker-Ortiz - Board Member, Niimiipuu, and Hopi/Gila/Pima - Chandler, AZ.
  • A descendant of the Nez Perce, Hopi, and Gila River people; an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community.
  • Althea Walker is currently the Tribal Climate Science Liaison for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium at the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center.
  • Althea is a Certified Public Manager and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate.
  • She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental & Resource Management & Master of Science in Environmental Technology Management from Arizona State University.
  • Her career has focused on environmental protection, green building, zero waste planning, community engagement, and climate change adaptation planning. Her work in these areas have ranged from analyzing the impacts of dam operation and climate change on Columbia River salmon and lamprey migration to incorporating Indigenous knowledge into geoscience curriculum and climate change adaptation planning.
  • She is a Sequoyah Fellow (lifetime member) of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES) and an editorial board member of the AISES magazine, Winds of Change.
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