Billy Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act Passes House of Representatives

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Yesterday the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed the the Bill Frank Jr. Tell Your Story Act; an act sponosored by Representative Denny Heck (10th District, WA) that would add the Nisqually tribe leader and civil rights hero’s name to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. A companion bill in the Senate was introducted by Senator Maria Cantwell. To read more about the act and it’s passage in the House, click here.

Background

Billy Frank Jr. was known as a tireless champion for treaty rights, tribal sovereignty, and salmon recovery. He was on the front lines in the campaign against state-imposed limits on tribal fishing, known as the Fish Wars in the 1960s and 1970s where he organized “fish-ins”—modeled after the sit-ins of the civil rights movement. Those efforts lead to the 1974 Boldt decision, which reaffirmed the Tribes’ rights to half of the fish harvest in Washington.

Billy Frank Jr. was awarded the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism and the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, and posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. As chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC), Frank worked to bring together tribes, local, state, and federal officials to further strengthen treaty rights and environmental protection laws. For more information on Billy Frank Jr., click here.


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