National

Thousands pay tribute to treaty rights advocate Billy Frank Jr.






Billy Frank Jr., 1931-2014. Photo from Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

An estimated 6,000 people attended funeral services for treaty rights advocate Billy Frank Jr., the late treaty rights advocate who was hailed as a visionary in Indian Country.

Frank died last Monday at the age of 83. His activism, which started when he was arrested at the age of 14 for fishing, led to the historic Boldt decision that confirmed the treaty rights for tribes in the Northwest.

“He was the spokesman for the salmon when no one else would speak up,” National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby said during the ceremony.

Frank, who was a member of the Nisqually Tribe, was laid to rest at the Chief Leschi Cemetery. An archive of the service can be found on the livestream for the Squaxin Island Tribe.

Get the Story:
Billy Frank Jr. remembered as humanitarian, ‘spokesman for the salmon’ (The Seattle Times 5/12)
Thousands pay tribute to Billy Frank Jr. — activist, environmental giant, leader, friend (The Tacoma News-Tribune 5/12)
Large crowd at memorial service for Billy Frank Jr. (AP 5/12)

Related Stories:
Ernie Stevens: Billy Frank Jr. removed the hands of oppression (5/9)
Opinion: Billy Frank Jr. was a Nelson Mandela for the Northwest (5/9)
Squaxin Island Tribe to webcast funeral services for Billy Frank (5/9)
Mark Trahant: Billy Frank Jr. was a rebel who was always happy (5/8)
Cynthia Iyall: Billy Frank was legendary figure in Indian Country (5/8)
Editorial: Billy Frank Jr. changed the fishing debate in Northwest (5/8)
Billy Frank to be laid to rest at Chief Leschi Cemetery on Sunday (5/7)
Nation mourns passing of treaty rights advocate Billy Frank Jr. (5/6)
Billy Frank: Oil terminal project threatens fishing in Washington (5/6)
Ryan Wilson: Indian Country loses a great warrior in Billy Frank (5/6)
Treaty rights advocate Billy Frank Jr. passes away at age of 83 (5/5)