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Invocation and Opening Words from Chief of the Klickitat

Wilbur Slockish is a traditional river chief of the Klickitat Band of the Yakama Nation. He was born in 1944 on the Yakama Reservation in Wapato, Washington. As a boy, he fished at Celilo Falls on the Columbia River. He was one of several men who were arrested along with David Sohappy for “illegally” fishing and selling their fish in a case known as “Salmon Scam.” After being released from prison, he concentrated his efforts on water quality and health issues related to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Slockish was part of the Bi-State Water Quality Commission for the Lower Columbia for three years and was appointed as a member of the Hanford Health Effect Subcommittee (HHES) in 1997. In 2010, Slockish was appointed by the Yakama Nation Tribal Council as a commissioner to represent the Yakama Nation on the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. He still serves in that role working to protect salmon, rivers, and tribal fishing rights along the Columbia River.