Imagine your personal property–inherited from your ancestors–is acknowledged by the highest court in the land as belonging to you and your kin, and hordes of strangers move in and take it. That might tend to be upsetting, especially if you and your ancestors repeatedly–over the course of two centuries–attempted to resolve things amicably.
Water is one of those belongings of the Coast Salish and other indigenous peoples. It sustains all life.
With the theft of water by real estate developers, the life of the native salmon and the life-ways of the indigenous people who depend on them is stolen. As Jamestown S’Klallam tribal chairman Ron Allen remarks,
From our perspective, the conversation here is about how we can implement responsible stewardship over water resources to the benefit of everyone.