2017 Gathering Information

A gathering of Coast Salish peoples Western Washington Tribes and British Columbia First Nations of the Salish Sea

February 27 - February 28, 2017

Once again, we come together as Coast Salish to speak with One Voice for the protection of the land and waters of our aboriginal homeland and the preservation of our culture. As brothers and sisters, we will share our culture and concerns for the endangered eco-region, and we will continue our dialogue on the need for strengthened environmental policies and practices in our ancestral homelands.

  • Coast Salish British Columbia First Nations and Western Washington Tribes
    • Chiefs and persons, senior leaders, senior science and legal staff
  • Neighboring Federal, State and Provincial Governments of EPA, EC, Ministry of Environment, Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Partnership, and Canada Fisheries and Oceans Canada

by invitation

Eventbrite - Coast Salish Gathering
  • Download Registration Form
  • Complete and mail Registration Form with check of $150 per attendee (US Dollars)
  • Please make check out to Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
  • After mailing, email registration form to Dlekanof@swinomish.nsn.us with a note that "check was mailed"
  • For hotel reservations, call 360-716-7162 and ask for the Coast Salish room block.

Mail registration form and checks to:

Debra Lekanof
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
11404 Moorage Way   
La Conner WA 98257

* All funding will be allocated for the hosting and management of the Coast Salish Gathering.


Debra Lekanof

For more information contact:


Objective One:

People of the Salish Sea theme supports the ongoing collaborative efforts of the Coast Salish with federal, state and provincial governments to provide a health and safe place for all who call this unique place home in the Northwest.

  • Coast Salish share the common environmental challenges within their shared homelands and waters.
  • Coast Salish share the concept of shared decision making by the cultural, political, legal and science elements.

Objective Two:

Coast Salish Nation continues to strive through legal and political to engage decision makers upon the lands and waters of the Salish Sea, our ancestral home.

  • Aboriginal and Treaty Rights at Risk
  • Legal cases Aboriginal Rights and Treaty Rights
  • United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights

Objective Three:

Challenges of the Salish Sea

  • Transportation of Non Refined Fossil Fuel of Coal, Bakken Shale Oil and Tar Sand Oil in the Salish Sea

Objective Four:

Science baseline study and need of the inventory on the Salish Sea environment and resources

Objective Five:

Next Steps

  • Identifying next steps towards committing to the Deer hide, “Together for the Salish Sea”
  • Responsibility to one another to protect the Salish Sea
  • Decision Making


2017 Agenda download link

Day One: Monday, February 27
Location: Tulalip Resort  Casino

7:00 - 8:00 a.m.         
Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.     
Opening Ceremonies, Prayer, Welcome from Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon

Opening Comments: Speakers, Chairman Brian Cladoosby and First Nation Co-Chair Ray Harris

Call for Witnesses

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.     
Presentation: Transportation and Growth Vessel and Rail Traffic Impacts

Panel Purpose: The transportation and growth of vessel, rail and pipelines in the Northwest has already expanded to a point of impacting treaty and aboriginal rights. We have decisions made on these impacts, however the growth of permits at federal, state and provincial levels continue to grow in our area. The message here is to show the vast variety and status of these projects.

1. Impacts in N. Salish Sea Tsliel Waututh Nation

2. Vessel Impacts in S. Salish Sea Swinomish Tribe

3. Challenges in Salish Sea Lyackson First Nation

4. Rail Impacts to NW Yakama Nation

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.     
Lunch:Keynote Presentation: Jane Nishada, AA, EPA Office of International and Tribal Affairs

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.     
Presentation: Health of the Salish Sea

Panel Purpose: The Salish Sea is the heart of the Coast Salish people, as our values, teachings and lifeways stem from her waters, habitat and resources. The presentations will share the health of the Sea, her habitat and largest river system.

1. Exploring Threats of Multinational Ecosystem with Coast Salish Jamie Donatuto, Swinomish Tribe

2. Health of the Habitat Fran Wilshusen, NWIFC

3. Health of the Lower Frasier River Murray Ned, Lower Frasier Fisheries Alliance

4. Status of the Salmon Lorraine Loomis and Justin Parker, Pacific Salmon Commission

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.    
Presentation: Climate Change Impacting the Salish Sea

Panel Purpose: To share the variety of climate change science projects in the Salish Sea. We will learn of the incorporation of traditional knowledge in the scienti c study of the Salish Sea and the collaboration of incorporating tribal, state, federal and industry science together as a model of studying the impacts of climate change on a river system.

FLNRO Climate Change Strategy, Improving the Resilience of BC’s Heritage Resources and Values in Response to Climate Change James Sandlands, Director, Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resources Operations

2. Our Story, Building the Science Capacity to Address Climate Change on the Skagit River Carol Macilroy, Executive Director, Skagit Climate Science Consortium

3. Climate Change Leadership Hub Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.     
Closing Comments for the Day

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.     
Evening Reception and Cultural Evening


Day Two: Tuesday, February 28
Location: Tulalip Resort Casino

7:30 - 8:00 a.m.        
Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.    
Opening Prayer, Welcome, Opening Comments: Chairman Brian Cladoosby

8:45 – 9:30 a.m.     
Recovery of the Salish Sea

Panel Purpose: To present the enormous recovery e orts and challenges in the Salish Sea.

1. After the Dam Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe

2. Protect the Salish Sea by Upholding Environmental Acts Suquamish Tribe

3. Puget Sound Recovery Caucus Congressman Denny Heck

4. Clam Recovery and Harvesting Marco Hatch, NWIC

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.     
Open Floor Discussion from Coast Salish Leadership on Environmental and Natural Resources Challenges

11:30 - 1:00 p.m. 
Lunch: Key Presentation: Caroline Caza, Environment Canada

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
Beyond Consultation: Consent Decision Making

Panel Purpose: The opportunity for the Northwest lies in the capacity and growth of our Native governing bodies. We have built our science, policy and legal foundation with fellow federal, state and provincial governments. It is within this foundation that we open the oor for presentation and discussion on the growth of transitioning beyond consultation in project permitting in the Northwest, and into rights of informed consent decision-making for our Native governing bodies. The outcome is to learn from the discussions and identify proactive actions that will support common ground to stand on together.

1. Beyond Consultation in 21st Century Chief Ian Campbell, Squamish Nation

2. Transboundary Engagement on NEB Hearings Kristy Boyle, Earthjustice

3. Un Declaration Chief Ed John, First Nations Summit and Delegate to the United Nations for North America

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. 
Comments from Federal/State/Ministry

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. 
Open Floor Discussion on Challenges and Next Steps

4:30 - 5:00 pm
Closing remarks