Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

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Hold your horses! Return of the Suicide Race to the Omak Stampede is not a done deal. The tribes' governing Business Council on April 6 delayed voting on the measure. Members wanted clarification on three issues, said Fred Winningham, president of the Omak Stampede Board. He said the council was concerned about wording involving a Stampede board representative who would attend tribal meetings. There were also questions about the supply of city water to the encampment, and about city ownership of Eastside Park, traditional home of the encampment. Issues should be ironed out by the April 20 Business Council meeting. The agreement has been hammered out over the past year in negotiations involving the tribes, the Stampede board and the Omak City Council. The City Council unanimously approved it April 3. The Stampede board approved the pact the week before. The Colvilles boycotted the Omak Stampede last summer, leading to cancellation of the Suicide Race and Indian encampment. The Stampede lost money because of a drop in attendance and revenues as a result. The Suicide Race is a furious dash by riders on horseback down a steep hillside and across a river. The majority of entrants most years have been tribal members.