Indigenous people were present in the watershed long before settlers arrived. Recognition of the damage done to tribal life and culture is fundamental to our watershed protection work.
One piece of this history is the Treat of 1855 between the United States and the Bands and Tribes of the Yakama Nation. In that treaty, the Yakama granted some rights to the United States but also reserved rights to the tribe and to individual tribal members.
Treaty Rights in the Pacific Northwest explains more about this history. Since 1979, the Northwest Tribes have co-managed resources, which include the watersheds that enhance their traditional fishing rights.