Indian Country Today: ‘People have got to stand up’

Indian Country Today:

Frank, Nisqually, is co-chairman of the Puget Sound Partnership, a governor-appointed panel charged with developing a plan to restore the health of Puget Sound by 2020. For their work, Frank and the co-chairmen received the Seventh Generation Legacy Award at the 14th annual Salmon Homecoming Celebration on Nov. 16 at the University of Washington.

The award’s name reflects the Native tradition of basing decisions made today on the impacts they will have on descendants seven generations from now.

The award is presented annually by the Salmon Homecoming Alliance ”to acknowledge the great importance of team spirit between tribal and non-tribal communities, particularly in the pursuit of environmental protection and natural resource management,” according to alliance President Gerald James, Lummi.

James said of the alliance, ”We are here to celebrate the salmon, the greatest of all Northwest icons, and our common link to good health, strong spirit and sustainable prosperity.”

Frank, who is also chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, hopes the award contributes to public awareness of what it will take to restore Puget Sound’s health.

”We’re going to have to work hard to get the public to understand the condition of the Pacific Coast and the Sound. Whatever happens in the Sound affects our ocean, and vice versa. Our job is to continue on with this plan. If we don’t get the public on our side, we’re not going to go anywhere.”