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January 2014

Nisqually: Tribal Police Officer Arrested in Olympia - A Nisqually Tribal Police Officer was arrested during a traffic stop Saturday in west Olympia. A Washington State Patrol trooper pulled over a vehicle for lane travel violations on Saturday, according to WSP spokesman Guy Gill. Nisqually Tribal Police Officer Willard White, 39, was a passenger in the vehicle and he identified himself as a Nisqually Tribal Police Officer, Gill said.

Nisqually: Dental records fail to ID cut-up body found by dog - Investigators have been unable to determine the identity of the woman whose remains were found earlier this month on the Nisqually Indian Reservation.

December 2013

Nisqually: Salmon Fest celebrates community’s finned friends - The Nisqually Indian Tribe and the Nisqually River Council, leaders in salmon restoration efforts locally and regionally, are the host of the festival, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

Nisqually: More human remains found on Nisqually Indian Reservation - A search and rescue dog found an arm bone and another piece of skull Wednesday morning in the same area where body parts were recovered last week in the area of Peter Kalama Road on the Nisqually Indian Reservation. Investigators believe that all of the scattered body parts found in the area since Nov. 5 belong to the same person, Thurston County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Brady said.

Nisqually: Tribe helping drive regional economic recovery - Nisqually’s annual payroll is more than $50 million, paid to more than 1,000 employees who live throughout Thurston and Pierce counties – and we’re hiring more people. The tribe spends tens of millions of dollars a year buying goods and services from private companies — and we’re increasing spending each year. We’re generating more taxes for local and state government.

Nisqually: Fish consumption rate does not reflect reality - If you eat fish or shellfish more than once a month, Washington’s water-quality standards do not protect you from the health risks of toxic chemicals that can get into our seafood. Washington is known for its seafood consumption, yet uses an unrealistically low fish-consumption rate to regulate pollution in our waters. The lower the rate, the higher the level of pollutants allowed.

October 2013

Chehalis-Nisqually: Thurston homeless complex nearer reality - The end is in sight for the 30 or so residents of Camp Quixote, a homeless tent city that has moved every few months to a new church-sponsored site since 2007. The Nisqually Indian Tribe also gave $40,000, and the Chehalis Tribe gave $7,000.

Nisqually: Pink Salmon Run May Reach 1 million - Native American folklore has it that salmon were once so abundant in America’s rivers, people could walk from one side of the river to the other on their backs when they spawned. Overfishing and declining habitat made such stories almost unbelievable in this day and age. But this year, the thought of walking on the backs of salmon may be a lot more believable for those who need to see it to believe it. “This is that year with pink salmon” in the Nisqually River, said David Troutt, the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s natural resources director.

Nisqually: Shutdown Rattles Prairie - From about 10,000 civilian workers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord sent home without pay to the closure of Mount Rainier National Forest and the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, along with the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s need to “tighten its belt,” the government shutdown rattled the Nisqually Valley on Tuesday.

August 2013

Nisqually: WSDOT breaks ground on roundabouts - The Washington State Department of Transportation broke ground Monday on two roundabout projects near Yelm. A temporary bypass road built on the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s property will help keep traffic flowing through the site of the Yelm Highway roundabout during construction, said Brenden Clark, design project engineer for WSDOT.

Chehalis-Nisqually: Quixote Village soon to take shape as permanent shelter - June 8, 2013, marked the ceremonial groundbreaking of Quixote Village at 3350 Mottman Road SW, the permanent home of Camp Quixote, the itinerant tent camp that formed six years ago in downtown Olympia. Major donors include the state ($1.55 million), federal Housing and Urban Development dollars distributed by the county ($604,002) and county-distributed Home Consortium dollars ($170,000). The Nisqually Indian Tribe gave $40,000 and the Chehalis Tribe gave $7,000.

June 2013

Nisqually: Tribe recruiting Stream Steward trainees - The Nisqually Tribe is offering free Nisqually Stream Stewards training beginning June 5. Weekly classes will take place on Wednesdays until late July, with four additional field trips on Saturdays.

May 2013

Nisqually: Tribe celebrates opening of new center - The Nisqually Tribe celebrated the opening of its new tribal center Friday morning. The 26,000-square-foot building, constructed opposite the old center, that will house many of the services that the tribe’s 760 members use.

Nisqually-Puyallup: Sick, injured or abandoned, animals get help they need - Support for South Sound Critter Care has poured in during the past year from all corners. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians gave SSCC a little more than $7,000 which was used to replace the washer and dryer in the rehab center as well as build fencing. In addition, the Nisqually Indian Tribe donated $5,000.

Nisqually: Nisqually Tribe Opens Market In Lakewood - Nisqually Markets, a new convenience store and full-service fuel station located at 11741 Pacific Highway Southwest in Lakewood, opens for business on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Nisqually Markets is an economic development initiative of the Nisqually Tribal Council and its Nisqually Board of Economic Development.

April 2013

Nisqually: Land trust helps wildlife, people and the economy - By any measure, the Nisqually Land Trust is living up to its motto, which is: “Small Watershed, Big Ideas.” Since the non-profit formed in 1989, the land trust has conserved in perpetuity some 4,457 acres of mature forestland, river shoreline and scenic vistas that grace the watershed of the Nisqually River from Mount Rainier National Park downstream to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

January 2013

Nisqually: Tribe Awards $2.5 Million to Community Groups - The Nisqually Indian Tribe has distributed approximately $2.5 million in grant funds to local groups to keep people safe, help children succeed, improve community health, honor veterans, preserve culture, protect the environment and support dozens of other critical community services and programs benefiting Indians and non-Indians alike.

Nisqually: Hard-won fishing rights here worthless without fish - Tribes in Western Washington are catching fewer fish than before the landmark Boldt decision of 1974 because continuing habitat loss is destroying salmon and steelhead runs.

Nisqually: Gifts to Lakewood, Fire Dist. - City of Lakewood has received two grants from Nisqually Tribe. This past summer, the Tribe invited Lakewood and West Pierce Fire District to apply to its 2012 Charitable Fund Program, specifically the local government support fund. The Tribal Council reviews applications on a case-by-case basis and grants are used to support police, fire, emergency services, and other public safety needs.

December 2012

Nisqually: Tribe & Wig Properties Team Up to Purchase 215 Acres - The Nisqually Tribe and Wig Properties LLC have teamed up to purchase and develop the Lacey Gateway property located in the Hawks Prairie area. "The Gateway acquisition teams the Nisqually Tribe with governmental and business partners within the region," said Nisqually Tribal Chair Cynthia Iyall. "We will be advancing both tribal strategic goals of economic diversification and self-sufficiency, while contributing to sustainable long term development for the overall South Sound community."

November 2012

Nisqually: Celebrity chef Roger Mooking cooked with the Nisqually Tribe - The Cooking Channel's Man Fire Food is exactly what it sounds like. Mooking visits locations throughout the nation discovering different ways that man (and woman) use fire to cook. While in Olympia, Mooking and crew visited with the Nisqually Tribe for a MFF episode centered on seafood feasts.

Nisqually: Tribe tags salmon to measure Ohop restoration effectiveness - Tribal fishery biologists are hoping tags in juvenile salmon can offer evidence of the effectiveness of habitat restoration on Ohop Creek. Nisqually Indian Tribe researchers will use passive integrated transponder tags to track juvenile salmon as they move from the Nisqually River into the creek.

Nisqually: Tribe hosts presentation and book signing by Billy Frank Jr. - The Nisqually Tribe hosted a presentation and book-signing event Oct. 30 featuring Billy Frank Jr. and Trova Hefferman, author of a new book about the iconic tribal leader titled "Where the Salmon Run."

Nisqually: Land Trust completes 2,500-acre wildlife corridor near Mount Rainier - The Nisqually Land Trust today announced the successful completion of a 2,500 acre, $10.5 million wildlife corridor connecting local, state, and federally protected lands near the main entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. The Nisqually Indian Tribe, which helped provide funding for the project, will assist the Land Trust in managing the site’s natural resources. “We are proud to be able to help acquire and preserve this vital environmental resource,” said Cynthia Iyall, chair of the Nisqually Indian Tribe. “This partnership further illustrates the Nisqually’s strong commitment to protecting and enhancing environmentally sensitive lands and habitats. Our tribe is honored to be part of this effort.”

October 2012

Nisqually: Slow rebirth of Treaty Tree mirrors Nisqually - I miss the Treaty Tree, even though the closest I ever got to it was the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 as they climb from the Nisqually Delta. It was a snag more than a tree, killed by a cold snap in 1979. But its bare and jagged top was high enough to mark what remained of the grove where Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens and leaders of the South Puget Sound tribes met and signed the Medicine Creek Treaty in 1854.

Nisqually: Lakewood, Nisqually Tribe ink agreement on tribal business - The City of Lakewood and Nisqually Indian Tribe have agreed to a deal that will let the tribe build a convenience store and gas station in the city and obligate the tribe to pay nearly $19,000 a year for public services. The 20-year agreement ensures the city will not lose tax revenue even though the property is off-reservation trust land that is not subject to property and sales taxes. It also makes clear the tribe will not build a casino on the property it acquired on the 11700 block of Pacific Highway.

Nisqually: Mixed-use development planned at Lacey Gateway after purchase - The Nisqually Tribe and Wig Properties, a Bellevue developer with ties to Thurston County, have paid $23 million for the Lacey Gateway property in Hawks Prairie. The announcement potentially injects new life into the 215-acre site, which is north of Interstate 5 and surrounding Cabela’s.

Nisqually: Tribe has new tool for separating wild, raised salmon - A plastic pipe fence the length of a football field stretches across the Nisqually River near Joint Base Lewis-McChord property, signalling a new era in fisheries management for the Nisqually Tribe. The portable dam, which includes traps and augers to lift the fish into holding tanks, is designed to capture every fall chinook salmon that has made it through a gauntlet of fisheries that stretches from Alaska to the river. Once their migratory journey is halted, tribal crews sort the fish into two distinct groups: fish that were reared in one of the tribe’s two downstream hatcheries and fish that were born to naturally spawning parents upstream.

Nisqually: Weir helps protect hatchery fish gone wild - It looks like a fence stretching all the way across the Nisqually River and basically that it what it is. The Nisqually Indian Tribe installed a weir, which acts like a fence to capture all salmon that bypass the tribe's hatchery. Nisqually fish biologist David Troutt explains the wild salmon runs on the Nisqually vanished decades ago. The hatchery was installed to give the river a man-made run but over the years, some of those hatchery fish went wild.

September 2012

Nisqually: Salmon Watcher program seeks volunteers - The Nisqually Stream Stewards Program is looking for volunteers to help monitor streams within the Nisqually River watershed during the upcoming salmon spawning season. “Salmon watchers are really the eyes and ears of salmon recovery. This is how community involvement in salmon recovery is helping to bring salmon back,” David Troutt, natural resources director for the Nisqually Tribe, said in a news release. “Without these volunteers, there is no way that we could keep a close eye on every stream in the Nisqually River watershed.”

Nisqually: Olympia will get water from wells, not springs - For more than 60 years, most of Olympia’s drinking water has bubbled up to the surface at McAllister Springs, on an idyllic lake tucked away from public view near the Nisqually Indian Tribe reservation. But that’s about to change. After nearly two decades of effort on a $15 million project, Olympia is constructing a series of wells about a mile away from the springs, which will replace the springs by 2014. The Nisqually tribe will eventually develop a portion of the well field to supply its nearby reservation, and under an agreement, can take up to 3 million gallons per day.

Nisqually: Where the Salmon Run: The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr. - Not until the 1974 Boldt decision in United States v. Washington did Billy Frank Jr. think that his treaty right to fish would be secure. He didn’t think it would be secure when he and his family were being harassed and arrested by Washington state fish and game officers. Nor when those officers were cutting their nets and confiscating salmon. Nor when state officials and sport-fishing lobbies were blaming Indian fishermen, rather than commercial overfishing or habitat destruction, for declining salmon populations. “We were fighting for our life—our survival,” Frank says in Trova Heffernan’s new book Where the Salmon Run: The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr. (University of Washington Press, 2012).

August 2012

Nisqually: Tribe wins mapping science award - The Nisqually Indian Tribe received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California held July 25, 2012. This award, accepted by the tribe’s GIS program manager, Jennifer Cutler, acknowledges vision, leadership, hard work, and innovative use of Esri’s geographic information system (GIS). Using Esri ArcGIS technology, the Nisqually Indian Tribe’s GIS program is implementing a project that will expand access to information by tribal government staff, tribal members, and the broader community through web mapping applications.

Nisqually: Tribe participates in annual canoe journey - Canoes stretched along the shore at Solo Point near Lakewood last week, bouncing on the waves as they waited for permission to come ashore. It was the second to last leg of the 2012 Paddle to Squaxin Island canoe journey. The Nisqually Tribe treated hundreds of canoe pullers and their families to food and music after a long day of paddling, and later bussed them to the Nisqually Tribal Center to set up camp before the final push to Squaxin Island.

Nisqually: Tribe plans store, gas station in Lakewood - The Nisqually Indian Tribe is planning to do business in Lakewood, pending an agreement with the city. In May, the tribe paid more than $900,000 for a 0.71-acre parcel of land that houses an abandoned gas station in Lakewood. The Nisquallys intend to open a new gas station and convenience store as part of their ongoing economic expansion efforts. The property is at 11741 Pacific Highway Southwest.

July 2012

Nisqually: Chief Leschi recalled in Olympia as canoe paddle exhibition begins - Descendants of Chief Leschi, the Nisqually tribal leader who was wrongfully convicted and executed by hanging in 1858, were on hand Saturday at the Washington State Capital Museum to celebrate his memory and kick off an exhibition of a canoe paddle that once belonged to him.

Nisqually: Tribe bet that water issues could be fixed; it paid off - When the Nisqually Indian Tribe purchased a Henderson Inlet commercial shellfish farm from Puget Sound pioneer oysterman Jerry Yamashita early in 2010, the tribe gambled that water-quality problems plaguing the South Sound inlet could be reversed. The $2 million gamble appears to be paying off. The 122 acres of tidelands has had two water-quality upgrades from the state Department of Health in the past two years, expanding the tribe’s ability to put its only commercial shellfish-growing ground to work.

Nisqually: Examining the life of Billy Frank Jr. - Where the Salmon Run: The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr. by Trova Heffernan (University of Washington Press, $40). The life of this Indian-rights warrior and salmon protector is told "through oral history interviews with the Nisqually elder and those who know him best," says the preface. It includes illustrations and an extensive family tree. Author Heffernan is director of the Legacy Project and the creative director of the Heritage Center in the Washington State Office of the Secretary of State.

June 2012

Nisqually: Billy Frank Jr. to speak Saturday at unveiling of bio - A biography of Nisqually tribal activist Billy Frank Jr. is being released Saturday in a ceremony at The Evergreen State College, and Frank is scheduled to speak about his long, interesting and historically significant life.

Nisqually: Voice for salmon heard again - Billy Frank Jr. speaks for the salmon. He always has and he always will. The message delivered by one of the most famous Indians in Washington history rings loud and clear through a new biography released this week entitled “Where the Salmon Run, The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr.” The book authored by Trova Heffernan is the 13th in a series of oral histories and biographies by the Legacy Project housed in the Office of the Secretary of State.

May 2012

Nisqually: Recent movement in development of new state park near Eatonville - While development of a state park on land at the confluence of the Nisqually and Mashel rivers has been stymied by the state budget crisis, there has been some recent movement. State Parks is working with the Nisqually Tribe to develop an agreement that could lead to a more formal agreement to partner on land acquisition, development and management of the park, said Nikki Fields, parks planner for State Parks.

Nisqually: Red Wind Casino Uses TransAct Technologies' EPICENTRAL(R) Print System to Tremendous Effect - With the installation of the EPICENTRAL(R) Print System in early February on all 975 of its slot machines, Red Wind Casino has seen significant increases in new player enrollment, visits per player and overall player spend. Since launching their EPICENTRAL(R)-powered Windfall promotional campaign in February, Red Wind has seen a roughly 30% increase in new player enrollment in their player loyalty club, as well as an increase in number of visits per player, with top-tier player visits in particular increasing by over 10%.

Nisqually: Police officer arrested on suspicion of DUI in Rochester - A Nisqually Tribal Police officer was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence and hit-and-run early Friday morning.

March 2012

Nisqually: Grants available for salmon work - The Nisqually Indian Tribe is seeking grant proposals for salmon habitat restoration and protection projects in the Nisqually River watershed. Approximately $415,000 in federal and state funds are available for on-the-ground habitat restoration projects, land acquisitions or assessments that will lead to projects. Prospective applicants should contact Chris Ellings, salmon recovery program manager for the Nisqually Tribe Natural Resources, at 360-438-8687 ext. 1270 or

Nisqually: A Model for Restorative Justice in America - Midway through the schematic design for the new Nisqually Public Safety Complex, I experienced a “wow moment.” I realized that our client, the Nisqually Tribal Police and Corrections Departments, practiced a remarkably successful form of restorative justice. The Nisqually form of restorative justice fuses traditional cultural values of spirituality, family and community with a highly respected and modern system of justice. Rather than a system designed to punish, it’s a form of justice designed to restore victims, offenders and their families.

Nisqually: Tribe to promote ‘wellbriety’ - Community members of the Nisqually Indian Tribe will promote life without drugs and alcohol during a three-day weekend of dancing, music and food. The 12th Annual Nisqually Wellbriety Powwow is March 23-25 at the Nisqually Youth and Community Center, 1937 Lashi St. N.E., Olympia.

Nisqually: Fire causes $10,000 damage to Nisqually Tribal Center - A trash can placed too close to a wall heater caught fire Friday morning, damaging the Nisqually Tribal Center. No one was inside the building and no injuries were reported. The fire caused an estimated $10,000 in damage.

February 2012

Nisqually: Tribe breaks ground on new admin building - Since the 1970s, the Nisqually Tribe has grown significantly, and it will continue to grow, according to Planning Director Joe Cushman. "A lot has changed since then and the tribe has accomplished more than anyone would have expected," he said. Plans for the tribe’s continued growth lies within a master plan, which includes building a new administrative building.

Nisqually: New Building To Add To Tribe's Growth - The Nisqually Indian Tribe is building a $7.9 million administration center, one of many projects helping to transform the small tribe into a major player in south Puget Sound.

Nisqually: Tribe gets $588,000 HUD housing grant - The Nisqually Indian tribe is among 25 tribes in Washington state to receive more than $33 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Indian housing block grants.

January 2012

Nisqually: Lines for gas form at tribe’s station - While cities in the Nisqually Valley were without power for a number of days, access to gasoline for vehicles and generators was scarce. As drivers made their way around fallen tree limbs and through snow and ice, the gas stations in Yelm, Rainier and Roy were shut down as a result of the power outage. Those who needed a fill-up drove to the Nisqually Reservation’s Rez-Mart, located next to the Red Wind Casino. "We were certainly busy, at least four times the normal volume," Quinton Boshoff, Red Wind Casino Manager said.

Nisqually: Roy welcomes home salmon - Not even rain, wind gusts and near freezing temperatures could thwart off Roy Salmon Homecoming supporters. More than 50 people attended last Saturday’s 14th annual event at Roy City Park. Once again, no chum salmon were seen making their way up Muck Creek, yet that was only a minor disappointment. Last year’s salmon run was about 50,000, but David Troutt, natural resources director for the Nisqually Indian Tribe, said this year’s will be closer to 60,000.

Nisqually: New center for ‘urban Natives' - Native Quest opened in October in a building on the edge of downtown, at the intersection of South 25th Street and Jefferson Avenue. The site was previously the home of Commencement Bay Coffee Co. Seed money from the Nisqually Tribe helped launch the effort, and organizers of the nonprofit center are seeking more grant dollars and volunteer help. Crafts, jewelry and art produced by Indian artists are for sale, along with books from MacRae’s Indian Books, a fixture in downtown Enumclaw for decades. Kathy MacRae Foy – daughter of bookstore founder Ken MacRae – is now the executive director of Native Quest.

Nisqually: Roy, tribe to celebrate return of chum salmon - As chum salmon make their way up Muck Creek, plans are set for the annual Roy Salmon Homecoming. This year’s event, hosted by the Nisqually Indian Tribe and the City of Roy, will be held on Saturday, from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Roy City Park.

Nisqually: Ecology to announce water supply package for Olympia, Lacey, Nisqually Tribe - The state Department of Ecology was to announce today that it has granted major water rights for the cities of Olympia and Lacey and the Nisqually Tribe to support growth and development for the two cities and tribe for the next 30 years. The water supply package took more than 15 years to complete, largely because new withdrawals of water in the Nisqually and Deschutes river basins are restricted to protect stream flows. The Nisqually Tribe will also receive water from the new well field to fuel economic growth on the tribal reservation. The agreement also restores tribal access to McAllister Springs. "Medicine Springs (McAllister Springs) is a location of tremendous cultural and spiritual significance to the tribe," tribal Chairwoman Cynthia Iyall said.

December 2011

Nisqually: 18 projects awarded funds for land, water conservation - $170,000 for the Nisqually Indian Tribe to work with partners in the upper Nisqually River watershed near Eatonville on a market-based approach that encourages landowners to protect and restore their forested properties, and be compensated for their efforts, noted Dan Stonington, executive director of the Northwest Natural Resource Group, a Seattle-based nonprofit.

Nisqually: Conservation group buys historic Eatonville-area swath of property - A new visitors center in Eatonville is poised to open in the spring. It will be staffed by volunteers and will have information on businesses and activities and a diorama of the Nisqually Watershed done by the Nisqually Tribe.

Nisqually: Restoration garners national honor - Along with 190 acres of wetlands restored by the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Nisqually Delta represents the largest estuary restoration project in the Pacific Northwest to assist in the recovery of Puget Sound salmon and wildlife populations.

Nisqually: Restoration Team receives national honor - The Coastal America Partnership, which includes the Executive Office of the President, recognized the work of the Nisqually Estuary Restoration Team in an award ceremony on Saturday, Dec.10 at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.

Nisqually: North Thurston embraces ethnicity - About 25 parents, grandparents and youths gathered at Nisqually Middle School last week for Family Culture Night, sponsored by North Thurston Public Schools’ Native Student Program.

November 2011

Nisqually: Consortium lauds philanthropists

Nisqually: Weak run forces Tribe to close coho fishery early

October 2011

Nisqually: 2 meetings this week on public safety complex

Where the Salmon Run: The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr.: tells the life story of Billy Frank Jr., from his father's influential tales, through the Fish Wars, to today. Based on extensive interviews with Billy, his family, close advisors, as well as political allies and former foes, and the holdings of Washington State's cultural institutions, we learn about the man behind the legend, and the people who helped him along the way.

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Rod Van Mechelen, Publisher & Editor, Cowlitz Country News

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