Salish tribes gather at Tulalip to set common policy

The (Everett) Herald:

This week, American Indian and Canadian First Nations leaders will hold talks in their own way: with stories, songs and bits of the rejuvenated Coast Salish languages.

The Tulalip Tribes are hosting the third annual Coast Salish Gathering, which brings together leaders of Coast Salish tribes, a region that stretches from north of Bella Coola, B.C., to as far south as Tillamook, Ore. Hundreds of leaders from the region have gathered in past years, and as many are expected to participate in this year’s gathering.

The gathering is scheduled to begin today and run through Friday.

“This will be a policy dialogue,” said Debra Lekanof, a Swinomish tribal employee and coordinator for the gathering.

The tribal leaders are expected to discuss environmental issues spanning the Salish Sea, the name commonly used in Indian Country for the waterway that flows from south of Seattle, through the San Juan Islands, and up into British Columbia. Officials from Washington state, British Columbia and the U.S. and Canadian federal governments have been invited to join the discussions.