Richard Walker
Young people from the Puyallup Tribe and other Tribes participate in the opening ceremony of Boldt 40, February 5 at the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Skookum Event Center. The day commemorated the 40th anniversary of the U.S. District Court decision in U.S. vs. Washington. The youth entered with the late Chief Dan George’s “Coast Salish Anthem,” then sang and drummed paddle songs from Puyallup, Squaxin, and Nisqually.

40 Years Later: Boldt Decision Celebrations With Some Caution

Richard Walker

Outside forces tried to “destroy us, take away our culture, our language, take away our ability to just do basic things, like hunt and fish,” she said.

“But that spirit that lies in all of us, that spirit of strength, when those battles seem to create a world and environment where it seems like we are losing the battle, those embers fan in our cultures we see today. Whether it’s Tribal Journeys or our language restoration programs, we see us going back to our roots and who we are as the Creator intended.”

Virginia Riedinger, Judge Boldt’s daughter, said her father took U.S. vs. Washington “with no prejudice one way or the other,” but by the time of his ruling, “I remember him saying the Indian had been cheated.” Even when her father was hanged or burned in effigy and the state defied his ruling, “He was never angry or indicated he was upset. He felt he made the right decision. And he had no problem enforcing it.”

Western Washington Treaties

Treaties signed by the U.S. and indigenous nations of what is now Western Washington: The Treaty of Medicine Creek, December 26, 1854; Treaty of Point Elliott, January 22, 1855; Treaty of Point No Point, January 26, 1855; Treaty of Neah Bay, January 31, 1855; Treaty of Olympia, July 1, 1855 and January 25, 1856. The treaties made land available for non-Native settlement; indigenous signers reserved land and certain rights for themselves and their descendants, and the U.S. agreed to pay with annuities, the provision of education and health care, and other considerations.


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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
This is the White way. To completely disregard the environment and the impact their greedy policies have on the earth, then to turn around and blame those least likely to defend themselves from the charges. The caveat is that NO ONE escapes the damage to the earth no matter who is to blame. While idiots continue to insist that global climate change is "just a theory" (in spite of the recent weather) people are dying because our infrastructure is in shambles and propane companies want to retain their profit margins. I think the Cree said it best: "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money."