The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on the Passing of Billy Frank, Jr.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Billy Frank, Jr. – Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe.  Billy fought for treaty rights to fish the waters of the Pacific Northwest, a battle he finally won in 1974 after being arrested many times during tribal “fish-ins”.  Today, thanks to his courage and determined effort, our resources are better protected, and more tribes are able to enjoy the rights preserved for them more than a century ago.  Billy never stopped fighting to make sure future generations would be able to enjoy the outdoors as he did, and his passion on the issue of climate change should serve as an inspiration to us all.  I extend my deepest sympathies to the Nisqually Indian Tribe, and to Billy’s family, and to his many friends who so greatly admired him. 

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