As a leader in our community and someone who works in our local cultural sector, I strongly support the Chinook Indian Nation’s fight for federal recognition and echo the sentiments of the recent Columbian piece on the subject. It is long past time for our federal representatives to fix this long-standing injustice.
Chinook ancestors were one of the earliest settlers in modern-day Washington. Since time immemorial they have stewarded the land where we work, live, and play today. Their part in our community’s story is not to be dismissed or diminished.
I am saddened and disheartened that their fight for basic resources and federal acknowledgement has continued for decades with no resolution. Despite the wrongs done to them, they continue to lead with graciousness. The Chinook Nation and their leaders have long been friends and supporters of me in my work at the Clark County Historical Museum, offering their time and energy as speakers, community partners, and allies. Their contribution has enriched our understanding of the region’s history and cannot be understated. It is past time for the U.S. government to show this nation the respect they deserve and undo decades of inequity by reinstating their federal recognition. Every day of their inaction is another day of delayed justice.