Just before 2014 came to a close, members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) along with Turkish Ambassador Serdar K?l?ç held a ceremony marking the completion of a water tank project that received funding from the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
The ceremony in December saw representatives from other tribes and Native American organizations including the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC). Officials representing Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN), a member of the Turkey Caucus, were also in attendance along with Embassy staff.
K?l?ç presented a $200,000 check to CTWS for the 500,000-gallon water tank previously built that will serve students of a new elementary school.
“I am honored to present these funds to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs on behalf of TIKA and the Republic of Turkey,” K?l?ç said in a press release. “We hope to begin a cultural exchange that will benefit both nations and by helping secure water access for this school, we extend our warm wishes of prosperity and success for many years to come.”
As ICTMN reported in November of 2013, CTWS scored the highest in an application process out of 32 proposals making them the first to receive the grant from TIKA. The school that was recently built was a the time under construction. The 80,000 square foot elementary school facility will serve 648 students in K-8th grade. The water tank will “meet the water demands of the growing student population over the next 10 years. Moreover, the tribes’ current water resources are inadequate to fully protect lives and structures on the reservation and the water tank that will be built with TIKA funds is also necessary for protection against fire in high risk areas,” Serdar Çam, who was president of TIKA in 2013.
“The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are deeply grateful to the people of the Republic of Turkey for their generosity in this grant,” said Chief Joseph Moses of the CTWS. “The funding provided to our tribe will directly improve the health and well-being of our membership.”
"Congratulations to TIKA and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs upon the completion of this project. I am pleased to represent those involved and am excited about continued collaboration between Turkey and Indian country," said Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), whose district encompasses the CTWS reservation.
“I congratulate the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs for the completion of the water tank project. I believe this generous gesture by the Turkish government will encourage more foreign investment and stronger commercial ties between Indian country and other nations around the world," said Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK).
“Since 2008 TCA has encouraged the strengthening of educational, cultural, and commercial ties between the Turkish people and Native Americans. The TIKA grant to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring symbolizes the start of a new chapter in relations between Turkey and Indian country,” said G. Lincoln McCurdy, president of the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), who attended the event and helped facilitate the relationship between CTWS and TIKA.