Sunday, June 1, 2014

Indian fishing rights

History News Network recently posted a review by Ron Briley of Sherry Smith's Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power (Oxford UP, 2012). Briley writes:
Smith begins her study with the efforts of Hank Adams, a Sioux-Assiniboine who grew up on Washington’s Quinault Reservation, to restore treaty-assigned fishing rights for the Northwest tribes. Establishing a camp at Frank’s Landing on the Nisqually River, Native people defied the state’s ban on tribal fishing rights. Crucial in gaining publicity for the cause was the recruiting of celebrities such as actor Marlon Brando. While conceding that celebrities such as Brando or Jane Fonda were sometimes naïve, Smith does not doubt their sincerity. However, the support of some more radical whites who failed to respect Indian customs was more problematic in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. In addition, Smith argues that church groups in the 1960s were important supporters of the tribes. The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), for example, published the influential Uncommon Controversy and provided assistance to the legal actions which culminated in United States v. Washington (1974) that recognized treaty fishing rights in the Northwest.

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