1963 December 23

“No Salmon, No Santa:” Native-Americans Protest Loss of Fishing Rights in State of Washington


Native-American activists in the state of Washington marched at the state capital on this day to protest the loss of historic fishing rights. Some carried signs reading “No Salmon, No Santa.” The governor of Washington invited them in, listened politely, and then dismissed them with no promise of acting on their complaints. The protest reflected an escalating conflict with the state game commission, which had undertaken tougher enforcement of existing state fishing regulations. A number of the protesters had been arrested several times.

For other events involving Native-American fishing rights, see March 2, 1964 and March 5, 1965. On March 27, 1973 the famed actor Marlon Brando did not appear at the Academy Awards ceremony to accept the Oscar for his performance in The Godfather to protest the treatment of Native-Americans in the U.S. and in Hollywood films.

Learn more: Faye Cohen, et al., Treaties on Trial: The Continuing Controversy over Northwest Indian Fishing Rights (1986)

Learn more about the history of the fishing rights controversy in the northwesthttp://depts.washington.edu/civilr/fish-ins.htm

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