Fight Over Sovereign Tribal Rights Spanning U.S. – Canada Border Could Be Nearing End
Tribal members are waiting for the next move from British Columbia’s provincial government in a long-running battle over sovereign rights. Last month, a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled against the province, siding with a Washington man in an illegal hunting case.
Rick Desautel is one of roughly 4,000 Sinixt tribal members who live on the Colville reservation in northeastern Washington state. Sinixt traditional lands extend from the reservation north into British Columbia.
Desautel was charged after he hunted elk illegally in British Columbia, where the tribe has been declared extinct. He argues he has a right to hunt on his ancestral lands.
The case has dragged on for nearly a decade. Two courts have sided with Desautel, including the provincial Supreme Court in December.
Defense Attorney Mark Underhill hopes it’s the end of the legal fight.
“I think what the courts have said at least indirectly, if not directly, is it’s time to sit down and talk about reconciliation with the Sinixt rather than furthering a legal battle that in my respectful view is a losing one,” Underhill said.
British Columbia’s Prosecution Service says “no decision has been made regarding an appeal. The government has until January 28 to decide.
The Yakama Nation and the states of Oregon and Washington are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to declare a new Superfund site on the Columbia River at Bradford Island alongside Bonneville Dam. Continue Reading Washington, Oregon, Yakama Nation Call For Superfund Listing At Bonneville Dam
Standing on the banks of the Columbia River, near the remnants of Celilo Falls in the Columbia River Gorge, Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy traced the history of decrees, congressional acts and court cases that led to the damming of the river. Continue Reading Yakama And Lummi Nation Leaders Call For Removal Of 3 Lower Columbia River Dams
Plastics in the ocean food chain has become a hot topic for local scientists, for similar reasons city and state policy makers and activists are debating plastic bag bans and how to reduce plastic straw and bottled water usage. All are concerned that the world’s oceans are awash in plastic trash and fibers. Continue Reading Don’t Want Plastic With Your Seafood? Neither Do Otters And Orcas In Northwest Waters