Billy Frank Jr.’s generation of leaders were our transformational leaders [“Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually elder who fought for treaty rights, dies,” The Today File, May 5]. They built the bridges that moved us away from and out of the atrocities of the past to the road to recovery — recovery of our salmon and natural resources, our economies and our people’s mental, physical and emotional health, as well as our sovereignty.
Our Indian leaders and warriors of Billy’s, Joe’s (DelaCruz), Mel’s (Tonasket), Sam’s (Cagey) generation and many others were, and are, our “Greatest Generation.” Those who have passed on have left us a huge legacy and an even bigger responsibility to safeguard and carry on that legacy.
It’s often written that Billy and other tribal leaders just championed causes on behalf of Indian people, but that was never the case. They worked tirelessly for the collective resources in this state as well as our environment so all Washington citizens could enjoy the bounties that our Creator offered us.
I will miss my friend Billy.
Jennifer L. Scott, Quinault tribal member, Ocean Shores