A moving speech, from one of the leading voices in North American tribal landscape. Billy Frank Jr. has been there in the midst of the treaty rights battles since the late 50s, when he started demanding his treaty rights to fish next to his house on the Nisqually River. That solitary act eventually led to the Boldt Decision, the ruling that legally interpreted the tribal fishing rights and altered the landscape of the Pacific Northwest fishing industry permanently.
You can listen to the speech on your computer directly from the button above, or download it to your smart phone, or MP3 music player.
Today, at 81, Billy Frank Jr. is still in the thick of things. Billy is a member of the Nisqually Tribe in Washington State, along with being the Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. He writes for numerous publications and does a number of speaking engagements. He has a personal blog at http://billyfrankjr.wordpress.com/
Mr. Frank has been the recipient of numerous recognition awards, including the 1991 Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and 2004 Indian Country Today Inaugural American Visionary Award
If you have never heard Mr. Frank speak, or if you do not have a good understanding of what drives the Tribes demands for their treaty rights, this is a must listen recording. In it, he clarifies the history behind the struggle for treaty rights and legal interpretation of them, and the personal battles that he has endured to attain them. He also talks directly to the group of Marine Resource Committee members that were attending this meeting, many of the volunteers, all working to protect Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Washington Pacific Coast.
More audio and eventually video presentations of the conference will be found at the 2012 Northwest Straits Marine Resource Committee Web site