Since time immemorial, salmon have been and continue to be essential to traditional lifeways and survival of Indian people. On February 12, 1974, federal court Judge George Boldt made a ruling that affirmed Indian treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather "at usual and accustomed grounds and stations is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the Territory." In his ruling, Judge Boldt interpreted "in common with" to mean an equal share, 50 percent of the available salmon harvest.
Lesson activities provide students an opportunity to learn about the importance of salmon to traditional lifeways and survival of Indian people, connect students' knowledge about the game "Keep Away" to understand how two governments solved a problem that affects us all, and read an article about the Boldt Decision to understand how treaties affected tribal fishing rights and federal Judge George Boldt's historic interpretation of treaty language.
Lesson activities focus on how perseverance and commitment aid in carrying out difficult decisions between the tribes and state. Students will engage in readings and activities on how the state and tribes found solutions to improve relationships toward a common goal of protecting salmon after the Boldt Decision. Students will research tribal and non-tribal websites that demonstrate government-to-government relationships in working toward salmon recovery.
Students will build on Levels 1 and 2 by seeing the Boldt Decision in action. They will explore at least one organization working toward salmon recovery and evaluate by completing the Whose Rules? CBA.
- How does physical geography affect Northwest Tribes' culture, economy, and where they choose to settle and trade?
- What were the political, economic, and cultural forces that led to the treaties?
- What are the ways in which Tribes respond to the threats and outside pressure to extinguish their cultures and independence?
- What do local Tribes do to meet the challenges of reservation life: and, as sovereign nations, what do local Tribes do to meet the economic and cultural needs of their Tribal communities?
Shana Brown (Yakama descendent)