Daily Herald explores tribal hunting traditions

The Daily Herald of Everett has a story about treaty tribal hunting rights:

State and federal regulations curb the hunting of endangered wildlife and protect developed areas from gunfire, but American Indians say those laws also violate the terms of treaties they signed with the federal government more than 150 years ago.

Before settlers reached Washington, only Indians hunted here. While tribal hunters still take to the hills to seek meat to feed their families and to offer in ceremonies, their take amounts to less than 10 percent of all the animals harvested here.

“Tribes should be allowed to hunt and gather the resources they need,” (Upper Skagit natural resources director Scott) Schuyler said. “People don’t understand that the tribes ceded away part of our ancestral lands in order to retain these rights.”

For tribes in the Pacific Northwest, years of courtroom battles over fishing rights only tell part of the story. The continued ability to harvest fish is recognized as the bedrock of the region’s tribal culture. But hunting for deer, elk, bear and mountain goat is just as integral to Coast Salish life.

Read the full story here.