Date of Award

Winter 3-8-2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Julie Nicoletta


The Pacific Northwest is home to a multitude of industries that utilize the region’s vast amounts of natural resources from timber to the soil. On February 12, 1974, the political fabric that encompassed the region’s state and local governments, American Indian tribes, and sport along with commercial organizations was significantly altered by Judge George H. Boldt and his decision to affirm the promises made by the Washington territorial government to Indigenous peoples over a hundred years prior. This decision was celebrated by Indigenous peoples for it guaranteed rights listed in the many treaties the United States made with American Indian tribes which were up for contention at the time of the decision. However, non-Indigenous people in the area with a stake in the salmon and steelhead runs in the Pacific Northwest viewed this decision as an overextension of federal power as well as being discriminatory against non-Indigenous people which led to an era after the decision with an unprecedented amount of anti-Indian and anti-federal activism in the area. This paper is primarily informed by archival resources, political cartoons, and magazine articles from avid sport fishers that took an active stance against the Boldt Decision along with statements made by Washington state officials that openly opposed the rulings to argue that the Boldt Decision influenced a wave of anti-Indian and anti-federal activism within the Pacific Northwest.