Bea Charles, Lower Elwha Klallam elder, dies at 90
Bea Charles, an elder from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Washington who helped fight for treaty fishing rights, died on Monday. She was 90.

Known Auntie Bea, Charles grew up with a strong connection to her history, culture and language. She was a key player in the Boldt fishing case, having learned about tribal rights from elders who were alive when treaties were signed in the late 1800s.

"What a shock; you expect it, but you just hope that day never comes," Chairwoman Frances Charles told The Seattle Times. "So much history, so much knowledge that we lost; she has done so much for her community and for other nations."

Charles testified in court for treaty rights and before Congress on tribal issues. She helped compiled the tribe's first dictionary of the Klallam language.

Get the Story:
Bea Charles, champion of tribal history and rights (The Seattle Times 4/22)
Klallam elder, linguist dies (KONP 4/22)