Senators, representatives introduce bills to change name of Olympic Wilderness Area – PDN

I am against this idea. Dan Evans unleashed Slade Gordon and others in an attempt to quash Billie Frank Jr. and the other tribes that were fighting for their rights during the fishing rights controversy that became the Boldt Decision of the 60s and 70s. While he is still unquestioned because of his moderate Republican support for cleaning up the filthy Lake Washington, his opposition to native rights  is well documented in the history of the era. Billy Frank Jr. described Evans opposition to the Boldt Decision in his post “It’s been a Long 25 years” Evan refused to implement the ruling for years.  We need to remember that Evans was supposed to be representing *all* of the people of the State at that time, not just the white fishermen. While he was cleaning up Lake Washington he was also jailing hundreds of native fishermen and issuing orders to his staff to do those arrests, fighting the Tribes at every turn. He was governor throughout the Boldt Decision years, (1965-1977). He knew of the injustices that the Tribes had experienced. He wasn’t blind to that history.  He was born and raised in Seattle and the Northwest.

There are many things to thank Dan Evans for, and to honor his work. If we want to rename something for him, Lake Washington is likely a better candidate.

If any tribal people would like to clarify whether I’m correct on this or not, and whether they are supporting this change, I’d be glad to reconsider. But renaming the Olympic Wilderness after him does not seem to be something that is worth supporting.  Perhaps there is a more fitting name that should be applied, something translated from one of the Tribes languages? Much like Tahoma for Rainier, or the Salish Sea for the joint body of water?

Bills have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to rename the Olympic Wilderness within Olympic National Park the Daniel J. Evans Wilderness in honor of the former Washington governor and senator. U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace, and Patty Murray, D-Seattle, introduced S. 3028, while H.R. 5397 was sponsored by members of the Washington delegation in the House, including Derek Kilmer. Chris McDaniel reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

2 Responses

  1. I agree with you. I love the name Olympic Peninsula. I would be happy to accept an Indian name for the area, but to name it after someone who worked against the native folks of the area is really insulting to any humanist. I am actually shocked that our Senators would make a faux pas of this magnitude.

  2. I had no idea that Evans had behaved in such manner with Native Americans and such icons as Billy Frank, Jr. He was before my time of moving to the NW and have honestly not delved into him much. Thanks for the information. I agree with you.

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