Na’Ha’Met (Ours to Protect): Salmon Crisis in the Salish Sea

Picture of Lisa J. Watt

Lisa J. Watt

Director of the Indigenous Leadership Program

Lummi tribal member Harlan James prepares to release the remains of the first salmon into Hale Passage. Photo courtesy of Northwest Treaty Tribes.

View the recording and see resources from our conversation with Lisa Wilson (Lummi) and Althea Wilson (Lummi), on the crisis facing salmon and the ways the Lummi Nation is working to respond.  

Na'Ha'Met (Ours to Protect): Salmon Crisis in the the Salish Sea

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Northwest tribes are in a unique position as sovereign governments to lead the charge in the protection and restoration of salmon, the cultural mainstay of Indigenous lives. For decades, tribes have dedicated significant resources and energy to salmon survival, from restoring habitats and conducting biological research to advocating for policy change at the highest levels of state and federal governments. And yet, mainstream responses to the salmon crisis have been slow and made complicated by competing political and economic interests. The survival of salmon is now in question.

In this briefing, we will discuss the long history of the Lummi Nation’s efforts to ensure salmon’s survival with Lisa Wilson and Althea Wilson, both citizens of the Lummi Nation, which is a signatory of the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855, and the uphill challenges tribes are facing to protect Yomech (salmon).

Extremely informative and powerful! Great hearing from those directly involved and affected by what is going on. Personally, I felt connected to this, as this is the region where my ancestors/relatives came from, so I felt another layer of connection.


— Cassandra Roush, Briefing attendee

Watch a recording of Na’Ha’Met (Ours to Protect): Salmon crisis in the Salish Sea held on Thursday, May 18.

Recommended resources


The Lummi Nation


Pacific Salmon Commission


About the speakers

Qwa’shi’lo’sia / Lisa Wilson

Ms. Wilson is an elected member of the Lummi Indian Business Council and serves as the vice chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, which is headquartered in Olympia, WA. She also serves as the co-chair of the Natural Resources Committee of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, and is the former Endangered Species Act manager of Lummi Natural Resources. Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in Native Environmental Science from Northwest Indian College and created the documentary Time Immemorial: A Fishing History of the Lummi People as her capstone project. Her expertise lies in treaty protection and fisheries policy management.


Althea Wilson

Ms. Wilson, whose family comes from lifelong fishers in the Salish Sea, is the Native environmental science curriculum development coordinator at the Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Native Environmental Science. Her culminating project was the film Revitalizing Cultural Knowledge and Honoring Sacred Waters: The Documented Oral History of Life on the Nooksack River. It is the first of several films by Althea about the Lummi’s connection to the natural world. Currently, Althea works as a policy researcher and office coordinator in the Office of Government Affairs and Treaty Protection of the Lummi Nation. She has a passion for research in Indigenous knowledge and Indian policy.




Recordings and resources from the first of four virtual briefings about Indigenous leadership with Bobbie Conner and Ron Allen presenting.



Recordings and resources for the final of four virtual briefings on Indigenous Leadership with Dave Tovey and Robert Miller presenting.



Recordings and resources from the third of four virtual briefings on Indigenous Leadership with Nicole Borromeo and Joe Nelson presenting.

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