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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 27, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Native fishing rights: Partner with tribal leaders on the environment

In recognition of The Times’ editorial position in “An overdue apology for Native fishing activistsAnd gratitude for their legacy” [Opinion, Jan. 20], I couldn’t agree with you more: It is about time.

Everyone who lives in the Puget Sound region owes tribal fishing-rights activists, past and present, appreciation for their efforts to get the state to honor its obligation for tribal rights as well as to protect our waters, our watersheds and our salmon.

We desperately need to learn a new way of engaging and partnering with state tribal leaders to protect the environment — our environment. We cannot wait another 40 years to overcome resistance to salmon habitat protection. Our tribal leaders have shown the way. Will we listen? Much still needs to be accomplished in order to continue our progress in efforts for salmon protection.

If we listen closely to Billy Frank Jr., and other tribal fishing-rights activists, we can follow author John Ehrenfeld’s direction and create a sustainable culture where the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever.

This is not just our hope and dream, it must become our reality.

Dennis M. Gawlik, Bainbridge Island

Comments | More in Native Americans | Topics: Billy Frank Jr., Dennis M. Gawlik, fishing

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