Escaped Atlantic salmon from fish farms–and the diseases they carry–are heading for Salish Sea rivers, where they pose a threat to endangered wild Pacific salmon. In an emergency response following the structural collapse of a Cooke Aquaculture net-pen near Cypress Island, Lummi Nation Fisheries has hauled in 200,000 pounds of the escaped salmon.
For background on fish farms in Washington state, read the report by Anne Mosness.
As noted on the Jamestown S’Klallam website, “Hunting, fishing and gathering were some of the rights reserved by Northwest Tribes that signed treaties with the United States in the 1850’s…Reserved rights under the treaties are classified as property rights by the federal courts.”
In an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of tribal sovereignty and cultural resource protection, the Seattle Times editorial board conflates treaty fishing rights of Northwest Indians with undue political influence. Rather than acknowledge the jurisdictional interest pertaining to land and water use affecting salmon reproduction–retained by the tribes in the treaties with the US–the Times board adopts the anti-Indian position promoted by former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, himself known for his inflammatory, racist remarks.
In 1966, a Black entertainer named Dick Gregory went to jail for six months in Olympia WA for supporting Northwest Indians in their fight to keep their treaty-reserved fishing rights. A Puyallup elder recalls Gregory’s sacrifice.
Two North American Indigenous leaders that figured larger than life in the war against annihilation of their tribal nations by the modern states of Canada and the US are Shuswap politician George Manuel and Standing Rock legal scholar Sam Deloria. Their foresight and intellectual rigor laid the groundwork for the Indigenous renaissance we witness today. Both of them were founders of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples.
First Nations in BC Pull Together to stop Kinder Morgan.