Native Americans

A Leader's Legacy
3:48 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Billy Frank Jr.: Tribes Must Try To Bring The Salmon Back

Billy Frank Jr., known for his decades of defending Washington tribes’ treaty rights, fears the rights will be worthless as overfishing, dams and climate change take their toll on the habitats salmon need to survive. Photo taken in August 2012.
Credit EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

Billy Frank Jr. helped secure Indian fishing rights through protest and legal action in the 1960s and '70s. The 83-year-old Nisqually tribe member has been arrested about 50 times over the years; the first time was in 1945 when he was 14, for fishing.

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Grand Coulee Dam
9:46 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Tribes Push To Restore Salmon To Upper Columbia River

A pre-conference tour of Grand Coulee Dam on Monday kicked off a conversation about restoring salmon to the Upper Columbia Basin.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 4:00 pm

Once upon a time, salmon and steelhead swam over a thousand miles upriver to the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River, at the foot of the Rockies in British Columbia.

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Membership Challenge
5:12 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Nooksack Vote Shows Divide On Disenrollment Struggle

Nooksack tribal member Angel Rabang said she was wrongfully fired from her job last July at the tribal casino for being one of the Nooksack 306..
Courtesy of Angel Rabang

This weekend’s tribal council election on the Nooksack reservation near Bellingham leaves an uncertain future for hundreds of its members. The tribe has sought to remove about 15 percent of its people in what would be the largest tribal disenrollment in Washington state’s history.

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Membership Controversy
2:05 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Disenrollment Controversy Looms Over Nooksack Tribal Council Election

A group gathered in downtown Seattle in September to protest what could potentially be the biggest tribal disenrollment in Wash. history.
KUOW Photo/Meghan Walker

Members of the Nooksack tribe near Bellingham will cast votes in a high-stakes election this Saturday. The outcome could change the fate for hundreds of members facing disenrollment from the tribe.

This membership controversy within the Nooksack Tribe surfaced about a year ago. The tribal council questioned the ancestry of 306 members, about 15 percent of the tribe, and moved to disenroll them.

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New Obstacles To Megaproject?
8:23 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Archaeological Digging Starts On Seattle's Stalled Tunnel Project

Removing Bertha's cutter head will require digging through soil that could have archaeological resources.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT

The past could present yet another obstacle to the future of the state Route 99 megaproject on the Seattle waterfront.

Archaeologists with the tunnel project started digging a series of 60 small holes Thursday to see if any signs of historic or prehistoric human activity are in the area.

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Cracked Dam
8:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Wanapum Dam River Drawdown Churns Up More Old Bones

Washington State officials are worried over the safety of newly-found human remains and artifacts on miles of newly-exposed Columbia River shoreline.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:04 pm

State officials are reporting the discovery of a second set of human remains near the cracked Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington state.

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Tulalip Tribe
5:07 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

For Abused Native American Women, New Law Provides A 'Ray Of Hope'

Deborah Parker, vice chair of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington state, reacts to President Barack Obama signing the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 in Washington.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

This Thursday, three Native American tribes are changing how they administer justice.

For almost four decades, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling has barred tribes from prosecuting non-American Indian defendants. But as part of last year's re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a new program now allows tribes to try some non-Indian defendants in domestic abuse cases.

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Tribal Law
2:46 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Pilot Program Helps Domestic Violence Victims On Tulalip Reservation

Flickr Photo/SalFalko (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Tulalip Tribe Chairman Mel Sheldon about a federal pilot program that will allow the Tulalip Tribe to prosecute non-tribal members who are accused of domestic violence on the reservation.

Sports
2:57 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Sen. Maria Cantwell: NFL Needs To Abandon Redskin Name

A Washington Redskins helmet.
Flickr Photo/Keith Allison

Ross Reynolds talks with U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., about her letter to the National Football League urging it to get rid of the Washington Redskins' name.

The Long Walk
12:32 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Legacy Of Forced March Still Haunts Navajo Nation

A portion of Navajo artist Shonto Begay's mural depicting the Long Walk.
The Bosque Redondo Memorial/Shonto Begay

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 8:54 am

Musician Clarence Clearwater, like so many Navajos, has moved off the reservation for work. He performs on the Grand Canyon Railway, the lone Indian among dozens of cowboys and train robbers entertaining tourists.

"I always tell people I'm there to temper the cowboys," says Clearwater. "I'm there to give people the knowledge that there was more of the West than just cowboys."

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Sacred Catch
6:00 am
Thu January 23, 2014

The Fish Wars: Fighting As Northwest Salmon Run Dry

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

This is an excerpt from KUOW's "Sacred Catch" series. Explore the full series with additional audio, pictures and materials.

Hundreds of Indians climbed the cliffs at night and waited under the edge of the bluff for the first morning light.

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Sacred Catch
6:00 am
Wed January 22, 2014

'Schelangen,' But Also A Right

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

Back in the 1850s, the United States negotiated a series of five treaties with the coastal tribes living in what is now Washington state. The treaties secured a majority of the land for the state and broke the tribes up into reservations. But of less interest to early white settlers were water rights. Native Americans kept their right to fish along coastal waters. However, over the decades those rights have been disputed.

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Sacred Catch
6:00 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Before Salmon Was King, Before Salmon Was Greed

Ramona Morris, 82, is a Lummi elder and has lived on the reservation near Bellingham, Wash., her whole life. To her, salmon is more than food: it's a way of life.
Credit KUOW Photo/Jeff Emtman

The Salish Sea is a network of waterways that run from northwestern Washington to British Columbia. The waters of the Salish Sea are home to some of the richest marine life on the planet. The Lummi Tribe of Northern Washington rely on the abundance of these waters, but the fish have been in decline for the last century and a half.

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Fish Wars
11:48 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Clean Slate For Tribal Fishing Rights Protesters?

(Left to right) Billy Frank, a veteran of the fish wars, Hank Adams, a tribal advocate, and Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe confer in Olympia.
Taylor Winkel Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:45 am

Around 40 to 50 years ago, American Indians in Western Washington were repeatedly arrested during protests over treaty fishing rights.

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Activism
6:00 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Seattle 2013: A Year In Protest

We've reserved the slideshow above for a collection of reader-submitted photos from local demonstrations in 2013. Submit yours to pictures@kuow.org. In this photo: A scene from fast food workers demonstrating in Seattle on May 31, 2013.
Heather Villanueva

As we looked back on the last year, debating which stories to highlight here, we noticed a trend that surprised us: 2013 was a year of activism and protest in the Seattle area.

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