Call to Action
Billy Frank spent a lifetime championing Indian treaty fishing rights, the recovery of salmon and the need to protect our environment which supports salmon and all the natural world that the people who live in this region value. We are here today to remember and honor his vision to “tell your story” and “tell the truth” as we chart a path to “stay the course” towards successfully recovering salmon in this region. We need to call on the strength of his leadership, which remains with us forever, to make it happen.
We are at a critical juncture. Our collapsing fisheries are mirroring a collapsing ecosystem. The plight of the Orca is yet another reminder of this truth. Even with all we have all done - we are still not recovering salmon. There is a sense of urgency that we are running out of time. A common agenda based on the truth of what is necessary will allow us to engage, support and hold accountable our individual capacities to speak those truths and advance actions that are necessary for effective change. The Pacific Northwest can continue to set the bar for innovation, high quality of life, respect for the ecology that sustains us, and a willingness to lead with creative and progressive ideals. We have, and will continue to, face the challenges before us and protect our lifeways and homelands.
In March, Salmon Defense held the inaugural Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit at the Tulalip Resort Casino. The daylong event brought together hundreds of salmon advocates to address challenges and strategies to Protect Salmon for Our Common Future.
- You can see the 4-video playlist of the event on the Salmon Defense YouTube page.
- Interview of Billy Frank Jr played as the keynote at the Summit.
- Slides with Audio of Billy Frank Jr recorded at Water Resources Forum 1995 in Olympia, WA.
Played at closing of the 2018 Pacific Salmon Summit.
The Summit’s aim was to Inspire, Enlighten and Ignite the salmon recovery community through presentations about treaty rights, the status of salmon and its habitat, and critical policy issues.
At the end of the day, a call to action was signed by tribal and non-tribal leaders, fisheries managers, scientists and members of the public. They pledged to work better together to do more, to value hatcheries as part of salmon recovery, to support tribes and treaty rights, to bring innovation into recovery, and to commit to a joint communication campaign, to tell the truth together.
Summit participants hope to challenge the status quo over the coming year through a series of work sessions intended to coordinate new approaches to long-standing challenges to salmon recovery.
“We need to meet these difficult yet necessary tasks head-on and support the region to move beyond the confines of current processes and agency or constituent positions,” the Call to Action states. “The success of this work depends on all of us.”
At the closing dinner, Merle Hayes, Suquamish Tribe fisheries policy liaison, was awarded the 2018 Billy Frank Jr. Leadership Award. The award recognizes initiative, commitment and accomplishment in protecting tribal sovereignty and natural resources in western Washington.