Happy Birthday, Billy Frank Jr.

One of the greatest American native leaders of the last 50 years. His influence cannot be overstated. His work led to the incredible explosion of money and projects to save what remains of our great salmon runs, which of course means restoring the earth and protecting it. He was a speaker that always had the perspective to understand what was really needed. He also had passion. In 2012 I audio taped Billy Frank speaking at the Northwest Straits Annual Conference. The link to that audio file below. His message hasn’t been dimmed by time.


Billy Frank, Jr. [b. March 9, 1931] was a tireless advocate for Indian treaty rights and environmental stewardship, whose activism paved the way for the “Boldt Decision,” which reaffirmed tribal co-management of salmon resources in the state of Washington. Frank led effective “fish-ins,” which were modeled after sit-ins of the civil rights movement, during the tribal “fish wars” of the 1960s and 1970s. His magnetic personality and tireless advocacy over more than five decades made him a revered figure both domestically and abroad. Frank was the recipient of many awards, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award for Humanitarian Achievement. Frank left in his wake an Indian Country strengthened by greater sovereignty and a nation fortified by his example of service to one’s community, his humility, and his dedication to the principles of human rights and environmental sustainability. (BillyFrankJr.org)

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