Native Americans

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

For years, Tulalip tribal officials have been pressing for better access to criminal databases. Then the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last fall made the reason all too clear.

Tribal records should have blocked the purchase of the gun used in the shooting. But the records never traveled the seven miles between the Tulalip Tribal Court and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

The Swinomish Tribe has filed a lawsuit against BNSF Railway to stop oil trains from traveling through its reservation.

BNSF train tracks cross the top of the Swinomish Reservation in Skagit County. In recent years they’ve been used to move oil from North Dakota to two refineries in Anacortes.

Josh Etzler, left, and colleague Jeff Stewart break for lunch in Tulalip. Etzler says marijuana retail stores could be undercut by tribes.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

In Les Parks’ perfect world, the Tulalip Tribes would not only legalize marijuana but fund research into its medical benefits.  

“I see Tulalip leading the country and being on this frontier for what this plant can do for mankind, basically,” said Parks, the Tulalips’ vice chairman and a longtime supporter of legalization, speaking from the tribe’s gleaming new government building, with sweeping views over Puget Sound.

Jay Julius is a member of the Lummi Tribe and an outspoken defender of his people's fishing rights
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

Jeannie Yandel talks with Bob Anderson, director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington, about a dispute over fishing rights which went to the federal court in Seattle Monday.

The Makah, the Quileute, and the Quinault Nations disagree over who has the right to fish in territories off the west coast of Washington.

marijuana
Flickr Photo/North Cascades National Park

Ross Reynolds talks to Anthony Broadman, a partner with the Seattle law firm Galanda Broadman, about how local tribes can sell marijuana on reservations.

Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation, stands on the docks as tribal crabbers unload their catch. The tribe has vowed to fight the oil train-to-ship terminals  proposed for Grays Harbor.
KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

HOQUIAM, Wash. — Grays Harbor, with its deep-water berths and fast access to Pacific Ocean shipping routes, has all the ingredients to be a world-class port.

SEATTLE -- A federal agency says a Puget Sound tribe has not made a convincing enough case to to halt the permitting process for the largest proposed coal export facility in the country.

It's been 75 years since salmon and steelhead last swam into the upper reaches of the Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam.

Tow boat captains, wheat exporters, and the directors of the farthest inland ports in the Northwest are breathing easier today.

The people who live in the northwest corner of New Mexico consider Darlene Arviso to be a living saint.

"Everybody knows me around here. They'll be waving at me," she says from behind the wheel of the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission water truck. "They call me the water lady."

That's because Arviso hauls water for tribe members of the Navajo Nation, where, on average, residents use 7 gallons a day to drink, cook, bathe and clean. The average person in the U.S. uses about 100 gallons a day.

LUMMI RESERVATION, Wash. -- The Lummi Nation issued a letter Monday to the U.S. government seeking to end the project's permitting process for a coal-shipping project encircled by their Puget Sound fishing grounds.

When the federal government decided to make plutonium in southeast Washington, early farmers and whole villages of Native Americans were kicked out. Now, a new collection of oral histories tells some of these stories of the Hanford site.

Mural near the Fisherman's Cove Marina and Lummi Island Ferry on Lummi Nation.
KUOW Photo/Jeff Emtman

After a visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in North Dakota, President Barack Obama announced an initiative to help Native American youth.

Obama's proposal aims to provide culturally appropriate education at tribal schools, access to mental health providers and peer counseling and better preparation for college and careers. KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel spoke with Gyasi Ross, a writer, attorney and member of the Blackfeet tribe. He lives on the Suquamish reservation north of Seattle.

“You can see it in Obama's face, you can hear it in the words that he speaks -- he actually has a passion for trying to do something proactively for Native people," Ross said. "I knew that it was coming from a good place.”

The U.S. Department of Justice this week opened the door to a legalized pot market on tribal land.

The Yakama Nation and neighboring tribes are strongly objecting to a Congressional move to offer public access to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain, a place tribal members consider sacred.

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