For Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Council, the call to action is personal. Cladoosby has lived in the area for the entirety of his life and has seen definitive changes in the environment in that time: beaches being closed, fisheries dwindling, even 70 degree waters in the early morning hours — something unheard of in the area until just recently.
“This is a reality, folks,” he said with the certainty of many generations. Cladoosby went on to emphasize the importance of relationships in solving the issues at hand. “We have entered into a marriage of sorts, and the honeymoon begins tonight.”
The key to a healthy relationship is communication — and it takes time and hard work, he said, continuing the metaphor. “Our purpose here is to find ways we can all work together … to find out how we can move forward together.”