Leonard Forsman: Suquamish Tribe forced to file suit on treaty

"Today, with over 1,100 people employed in its government operations and business ventures, the Suquamish Tribe is one of the largest employers in Kitsap County. The purpose of the Tribe's investments is to support government functions that assist the community. These investments — in law enforcement, natural resource management, education, health care, and community development — are designed to have a positive economic and social impact on both Tribal members and non-Tribal members alike. We take our role as good neighbor seriously.

That's why it has been so disappointing for us to have our requests to have our treaty rights honored by the U.S. government rejected while the United States seeks to build a massive new explosives handling wharf at Bangor, within the adjudicated usual and accustomed fishing grounds of the Suquamish and four other tribes.

The Tribe's treaty right is a property right under federal law and cannot be taken away without specific congressional authority. If Congress authorizes a treaty right to be taken, that loss must be compensated for under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."

Get the Story:
Leonard Forsman: Navy left tribe no choice but a lawsuit (The Kitsap Sun 8/29)

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Suquamish Tribe sues to stop Navy from building $715M wharf (8/28)

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