Billy Frank, Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisherman’s Commission and member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe in Washington State, discusses the integral role salmon have historically played in his tribe’s culture and his lifelong struggle to secure the tribe’s right to fish in their traditional waters along the Nisqually River.
During the 1940s salmon populations dropped dramatically and, in an attempt to save the salmon, severe restrictions were placed on fishing. The Nisqually tribe could no longer fish in their traditional waters as they had for centuries. These restrictions violated treaties the government had made with the Nisqually.
Billy Frank dedicated his life to protect his tribe’s fishing rights and to restore their connection to the water and the land. To learn more about Billy Frank’s heroic and non-violent fight against the system see, “Billy Frank: Protector of Salmon.” (Length: 15 min.)