Stillaguamish Tribe chairman named to Indian fisheries post

Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe, has been elected vice chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

“I’m there for the commission to help carry the voice of the 20 tribes in their interests,” Yanity said. “It’s a huge honor, and it’s a huge responsibility.”

The commission, based in Olympia, represents 20 tribes in the state, with a member from each tribe serving in the group. A chair, vice chair and treasurer are elected from among the commissioners.

Former Chair Billy Frank Jr. died in May at age 83. He is remembered as a lifelong fisherman, a passionate advocate for the fishing and hunting rights of Northwest tribes, and a longtime leader of the commission.

Lorraine Loomis, fisheries manager for the Swinomish Tribe and previous vice chair of the commission, was selected as the new chair.

Yanity, 49, became chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe in 2004 and has been on the fisheries commission since 2000.

“Together we focus on all the treaty issues, everything from clean water to salmon, shellfish, groundfish and wildlife,” Yanity said.

The commission provides resources for tribes facing specific concerns, such as microbiologists to handle disease outbreaks at fish hatcheries. The group also acts as a sort of database on Washington fish and their habitats, from mountain streams to the salty coastline.

Commission goals include upping wild salmon populations, pushing for legislation to prevent pollution in Puget Sound and cleaning up rivers and streams around Western Washington, Loomis wrote in a message to the commission earlier this year.

“Our tribe can be a little more active in this,” Yanity said. “It’s an honor for us to do that, but now we have to step up to the plate a little more and honor those responsibilities and traditions.”

Frank left his wisdom and teachings for the commission, Yanity said. The group aims to follow in his footsteps, pushing for cleaner waters, protecting native fish populations and advocating for the tribes’ treaty rights to fish and hunt throughout the state.

“The commission has a lot of important work that’s set out before us, and the committee is still as strong and dedicated to protecting the treaty resources as we’ve always been,” Yanity said. “But we know that we lost a great leader.”

Kari Bray: kbray@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3439.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An artist’s rendering of the Amazon distribution center at the Cascade Industrial Center in Arlington.
A tax break used by Arlington, Marysville goes statewide

It’s helped land businesses in Cascade Industrial Center. Soon every city will get a chance to try it.

Breanna Schalamon take Joel Childs' orders Tuesday afternoon at Oxford Saloon in Snohomish on May 4, 2021. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Inslee orders two-week pause on counties sliding back phases

Snohomish County, and much of Washington, had braced for reversion to Phase 2 of reopening plan

Snohomish chiropractor accused of sexually touching patients

Six people reported Dr. Ken Parker touched them inappropriately. Some reports were years old. Some were new.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signs a bill into law, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in Tukwila, Wash., that levies a new capital gains tax on high profit stocks, bonds and other assets for some residents of Washington state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
New laws will tax the rich, offer aid to low-income workers

Inslee signs bill creating capital gains tax; foes are challenging it in court as unconstitutional.

Nobody injured in fire at Everett hearing clinic

Firefighters extinguished a roof fire around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at 4027 Hoyt Ave.

Standing on a new ramp to his home, Doug Waddell shakes hands with Dennis Taylor and Dan Barmon on April 15 in Sultan. Taylor and Barmon built the ramp for Waddell in exchange for two apple pies. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
What does two apple pies buy? A $3,500 wheelchair ramp

The kindness of two strangers, and a pie baker, helps Sultan amputee come home.

The Waterfront Place Apartments north building at the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place cold see residents moving in by May 15. on Thursday, April 22, 2021 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Now playing at the Port of Everett: sudden density

New Waterfront Place Apartments open May 15 at the port — local retailers welcome the influx.

Bikes Club of Snohomish County on Grand Ave on their way from Everett waterfront to Snohomish Thursday morning on April 29, 2021.
(Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Healthy Streets’ not coming back, but Everett plans bike work

Staff review road projects for low-cost way to improve bike infrastructure. Advocates want more.

Snohomish County prosecutor Jacqueline Lawrence makes her opening statements during the murder trial of Jamel Alexander on Friday, April 30, 2021 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Trial begins for Everett man accused of stomping woman to death

Jamel Alexander, 31, is accused of first-degree murder in the death of Shawna Brune, 29, of Everett.

Most Read