Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Leaders
Lorraine Loomis served on the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission for more than 40 years, including 7 as chairperson. Among many accolades, she received the Billy Frank Jr. Leadership Award for defending tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and treaty-protected resources. Lorraine was a strong, passionate, and visionary leader with a gracious style. She was a fearless champion for salmon and habitat protection, played a significant role in developing and implementing the Pacific Salmon Treaty between the United States and Canada, and led the annual North of Falcon negotiation process to set fishing seasons. During her nearly 50 years as a fisheries manager for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, she was a leading light, demonstrating great moral integrity and clarity while fostering an environment of cooperation and consensus.
Soft-spoken and tireless, Terry Williams spent decades advocating for climate change research and action. He served on the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, including 4 years as treasurer and vice chair. Terry served more than 20 years on the Pacific Salmon Commission, and since 1982, was the Tulalip Tribes’ Fisheries and Natural Resources commissioner. Terry was instrumental in negotiating Washington’s landmark Timber/Fish/Wildlife agreement that protected salmon habitat. He served on Governor Gary Locke’s Joint Natural Resources Cabinet as it developed the state’s first salmon recovery strategy, and represented tribal interests locally, nationally, and internationally in appointed positions. Throughout his highly decorated career, Terry brought people together, regardless of their backgrounds, to find common-sense solutions to challenging problems.
A former chairman of the Makah Tribe and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Dale Johnson’s leadership began before the 1974 decision by U.S. District Court Judge George Boldt reaffirmed tribal treaty rights. His service on the Makah Tribal Council and Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission in the 1970s and 1980s placed him at a pivotal point for tribal treaty rights. His efforts were central to securing recognition of the Makah Tribe’s treaty right to harvest halibut and sablefish, among other fish, creating a successful tribal industry. Before Dale passed away, the Makah Tribal Council proclaimed him one of the most inspiring leaders of our time, with qualities equal to the forefathers who negotiated the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay.