United States v. Washington, 1974 Plaintiff: United States of America, on its own behalf and as trustee for several Western Washington Indian Tribes (Hoh Tribe, Lummi Tribe, Makah Tribe, Muckleshoot Tribe, Quileute Tribe, Quinault Tribe, Skokomish Tribe, Squaxin Island Tribe, Nisqually Tribe, Puyallup Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe, Upper Skagit River Tribe, Sauk-Suiattle Tribe, and Yakima Nation) Defendant: State of Washington, represented by the Department of Fisheries and the Department of Game, and joined by the Washington Reef Net Owners, The Association of Northwest Steelheaders, and the Washington State Sportsmen’s Council. Judge: George Hugo Boldt “The treaty was not a grant of rights to the Indians, but a grant of rights from them, and a reservation of those not granted.” In ratifying these treaties, the United States did not grant rights to the people of the First Nations. It accepted that the people were not giving away fishing and hunting rights they already possessed. “The first-salmon ceremony, which with local differences in detail was general through most of the area, was essentially a religious rite to ensure the continued return of salmon. The symbolic acts, attitudes of respect and reverence, and concern for the salmon reflected a ritualistic conception of the interdependence and relatedness of all living things which was a dominant feature of native Indian world view. Religious attitudes and rites insured that salmon were never wantonly wasted and that water pollution was not permitted during the salmon season.” The first peoples had proven themselves, for over ten thousand years, to be faithful and respectful, good stewards of their own resources. “With a single possible exception testified to by a highly interested witness and not otherwise substantiated, notwithstanding three years of exhaustive trial preparation, neither Game nor Fisheries has discovered and produced any credible evidence showing any instance, remote or recent, when a definitely identified member of any plaintiff tribe exercised his off reservation treaty rights by any conduct or means detrimental to the perpetuation of any species of anadromous fish.” “The court finds that the taking of fish for ceremonial and subsistence purposes has a special treaty significance distinct from and superior to the taking of fish for commercial purposes and therefore fish taken to serve ceremonial and subsistence needs shall not be counted in the share of fish that treaty right fishermen have the opportunity to take.” The court granted the tribes half of the harvestable fish at their usual and accustomed grounds and stations and required both the state and the tribes to report how many fish are taken; however, fish taken for ceremonial and subsistence purposes as well as fish taken on their own reservations are not to be counted.