Guest Editorial: Washington State Should Respect Tribal Rights and Court Ruling on Culverts


"The Seattle Times editorial also suggests that anti-tribal sentiment is a thing of the past."

Let's watch this comment section and see!
Times editorial disrespects treaty rights which were already relitigated through the 1970s and into the 80s and beyond between the state that is violating the treaties and the US gov't that signed the treaties. State must comply w/ the US Gov'ts obligations which means the Tribes ceded tribal residency off-rez but did not cede harvest rights to provide a living nor the right to expect that the harvest will be there. The culverts are habitat degradation limiting the ability of salmon populations to support harvest and taking away the tribe's living which is their treaty right, as has been supported all the way up to the US supreme court.
No doubt this is an important issue. For the record, I was happy to see such a treaty-protective ruling out of the courts. But I think it is possible to believe both that the tribes have been wronged and also that ordering the state to undo a century of stream impediments is neither practical nor legally required. It is not surprising that intelligent people of good faith will disagree on whether the court's ruling is the appropriate outcome.

Merits aside, I am intrigued by the political dance that happens around the state's decision to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. I recall a similar public campaign 5 years ago after a 9th Circuit decision (upheld over vigorous dissent) reversing the WA Legislature's decision to reduce payments to family caregivers of persons with disabilities. In that case, the political tension between the outgoing Democratic governor and the Republican AG who was running to replace her probably had something to do with the result. This time around, the politics are a little different since there isn't a Republican to blame. But the basic strategy of making the state pay a political price for exercising its right to an appeal remains the same.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose! Still stealing, robbing and plundering Native Nations. Bloody treaties have absolutely no value! Fucking Vile!