Secretary Jewell Statement on the Passing of Billy Frank, Jr.

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released the following statement on the passing of Billy Frank, Jr., a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe and Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission:

“Indian Country and the nation lost a true giant as Chairman Billy Frank has walked on. His lasting legacy will be felt for generations in the hearts and minds of those he touched over an entire life dedicated to serving others. Two weeks ago, the entire room fell silent at a tribal summit held at the Suquamish reservation in Washington to listen as Billy spoke forcefully and passionately about the need to tackle the growing threat of climate change. Billy shared a great sense of urgency that we come together as one people to work toward practical solutions to address its impacts.

“To honor his life of service, let us redouble our efforts to do everything we can to uphold our trust and treaty responsibilities and to partner with tribes across the country on caring for our lands, waters and wildlife. On behalf of all Department of the Interior employees, we extend our deepest condolences to the Nisqually Indian Tribe, the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and to Mr. Frank's family and friends during this difficult time.”

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