By Krista J. Kapralos Herald Writer
The head of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs met with leaders of Washington’s tribes late last week at a meeting held at the Squaxin Island tribal center.
Tribal leaders shared their thoughts and concerns with Larry EchoHawk, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“I’m familiar with the issues that concern Pacific Northwest tribes,” said EchoHawk, according to a press release issued by the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.
EchoHawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation, which is headquartered in Oklahoma, served in the Idaho legislature and as that state’s attorney general before he spent 14 years as a law professor. He was tapped in May to lead the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The daylong meeting regarding Washington’s tribes, which included the Tulalip Tribes and the Stillaguamish Tribe in Snohomish County, focused on natural resources management and the federal government’s obligations to tribes.
“This is our homeland,” said Billy Frank Jr., chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. “This is where we live. We don’t leave. We have to take care of our country.”
Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422, email@example.com.