The Supreme Court affirmed the treaty rights of tribal nations in Washington state today in a case that also confirms the treaty rights of tribes throughout the West. By ruling to leave in place a lower court decision mandating that the state of Washington replace salmon blocking culverts with passable ones, the Court upheld the treaty rights of tribes to have sustained access to their First Foods: salmon.
The tribes in Washington state are rejoicing.
“It’s a fantastic day for Indian country,” Willie Frank, the son of Billy Frank Jr., said this morning. Billy Frank Jr. was the Nisqually activist whose activism helped bring about the landmark Boldt Decision which, in 1974, reaffirmed the rights of tribes in Washington state to harvest salmon and co-manage them alongside state managers. More than 50 years later, his son Frank said the recent court decision helped build on the legacy of that original ruling.
[For more on this story by Terri Hansen, go to http://www.yesmagazine.org/pea...vest-salmon-20180611]