Shattering myths of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest
Release Date: 09-09-2006

September 9, 2006
2:00 p.m.
Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Ecotrust, 721 NW 9th Avenue
(During the Salmon Nation Block Party)

The Si’lailo Way: Indians, Salmon, and Law on the Columbia River
By Joseph C. Dupris, Kathleen Shaye Hill and William H. Rodgers
Carolina Academic Press

This book shatters the myth that Native people have been passive pawns or acquiescent victims when it comes to the destruction of their homelands and resources. It celebrates the spirit, strength, and courage of the storytellers, the mapmakers, the diplomats, the elders, the warriors, the preachers and others who used their intellect and creativity to protect the Indian’s inherent rights.

Meet Authors Joseph Dupris and Kathleen Shaye Hill and hear about some of the individuals who helped shape the history of the Pacific Northwest. The book is about Indians “going to law” to protect the salmon and their own inherent right to harvest them. They did this with an enthusiasm born of cultural, spiritual and economic desperation.

“One of the most interesting biographies in this book is of Caples Dave, a Klickitat Indian who was reduced to eating blue jays and squirrels in the midst of salmon aplenty,” says Kathleen Shaye Hill. “He is so interesting because — in spite of his own hardship — he continued to focus on the well-being of the salmon. He represents the ‘hero’ within every person who tries to make even a modest difference in his or her own little corner of the world.”

For nearly 150 years the Indian people and Indian Tribes have been the eye in the center of a legal storm that contested the fate of the fisheries. They supplied the moral compass that guided this law to favor the fish. This mission to protect the fish has not been won. It has not been lost. And it will never be abandoned.