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Willie Frank III, Chairman, Nisqually Tribe // Michael Harris (Co-Founder and President), Producer, Photojournalist and Wildlife Specialist, ABC News and Others; Owner and Principal Creative for Baby Wild Films // Steve Robinson (Vice President), Board of Directors, Center for Environmental Law & Policy; former Public Affairs Manager and Policy Analyst for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Salish Kootenai // Victoria Hykes Steere, JD, Assistant Professor, Alaska Pacific University; Alaska Native Initiative; Institute for Village Resilience; Inupiaq Village of Unalakleet // Peggen Frank, Executive Director, Salmon Defense; Enrolled Member, Northern Arapaho Tribe // Rochelle Cooke (Secretary), Makah Museum; Enrolled Member, Makah Nation // Steven J. Barbeaux, Ph.D., Research Fisheries Biologist, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Enrolled Member, Anishinaabe Bawateg dodem Ajiijak, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Crane Clan // Scott Schuyler, Policy Representative for Natural & Cultural Resources, and Enrolled Member, Upper Skagit Indian Tribe

In the Spirit of our Co-Founder Billy Frank Jr.; Hank Adams, Executive Director, Survival of the American Indians Association; Enrolled Member, Sioux-Assiniboine; Vince Cooke, General Manager and Enrolled Member, Makah Tribe, and; William H. Rodgers Jr., 50-year University of Washington Professor of Environmental Law and Boldt attorney.


Advisory Board

Michael and Leonard IMG 4355smLeonard Forsman, Suquamish Tribal Chairman and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) President // Denny Heck, Washington State Lt. Gov. and former U.S. Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA 10th Congressional District) // Max Gail, Actor and Indigenous and environmental activist // Brian Cladoosby, Swinomish Tribal Chairman and former National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President // Debra Lekanof, Washington State Legislator (D-Skagit Valley), enrolled member, Tlingit Tribe // Gerald “G.I.” James, ESA/Harvest Policy Representative, Lummi Nation Natural Resources // Theresa Sheldon, Tulalip Tribes Councilwoman and 2nd VP of ATNI

Additional Series Consultants since 2011: Robert Anderson, Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior and former University of Washington Professor and Director, Native American Law Center; and University of California-Irvine Professor Michael Robinson-Dorn, Director, Environmental Law Clinic.

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Billy Frank Jr. and Prof. Robert Anderson 2009.

Employer Identification Number: 90-0734251 / WA UBI #603 118 901
Mailing Address, Office and Production Studio: 2247 15th Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119 (at Victory Studios in Interbay)
Office (206) 465-6692



THIS IS INDIAN COUNTRY With Billy Frank Jr. Series Demo 
THIS IS INDIAN COUNTRY With Billy Frank Jr.: The Iñupiat, Hanging On at the Top of the World 
THIS IS INDIAN COUNTRY With Billy Frank Jr.: Native Alaska & The Big Spill  


THIS IS INDIAN COUNTRY With Billy Frank Jr.: Indigenous Climate Project (Premieres 2024)

(Below) Peggen Frank, receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama on behalf of her father-in-law, Native American environmental leader and treaty rights activist Billy Frank, Jr.  Peggen serves on the Board of Directors of THIS IS INDIAN COUNTRY.


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About Billy Frank Jr.

Billy Frank, Jr.  (1931 - 2014)

Billy Frank, Jr. was a Native American environmental leader and treaty rights activist born in 1931 to Willie and Angeline Frank. A Nisqually tribal member, Frank was known specifically for his grassroots campaign for fishing rights on the tribe’s Nisqually River, located in Washington state in the 1960s and 1970s. He was also known for promoting cooperative management of natural resources. Tribes reserved the right to fish, hunt and gather shellfish in treaties with the U.S. government negotiated in the mid-1850s. But when tribal members tried to exercise those rights off-reservation they were arrested for fishing in violation of state law. Frank was arrested more than 50 times in the 1960s and 1970s because of his intense dedication to the treaty fishing rights cause. The tribal struggle was taken to the courts in U.S. v. Washington, and Judge George Boldt found in favor of the Indians in 1974. The Boldt Decision established the 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington as co-managers of the salmon resource with the State of Washington and re-affirmed the tribal right to half of the harvestable salmon returning to western Washington.

Frank was Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, a position he held for more than 30 years. Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) was created in 1975 to support the natural resource management activities of the 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington. The NWIFC is based in Olympia, Washington, with satellite offices in Forks and Mount Vernon. Frank chaired the NWIFC since 1981. The commission’s 65-person staff supports member tribes in efforts ranging from fish health to salmon management planning and habitat protection. The NWIFC also acts as a forum for tribes to address issues of mutual concern, and as a mechanism for tribes to speak with a unified voice in Washington, D.C.


Billy Frank, Jr. has held several different titles his career.
WHITE TIIC New21975-1988 - Fisheries Manager, Nisqually Indian Tribe.
1977, 1981–2014 - Chairman, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC).
1977–2014 - Commissioner, Medicine Creek Treaty Area in the NWIFC.
1996-2003 - Member of Board of Trustees of The Evergreen State College.

WHITE TIIC New2Common Cause Award (1985), for his human rights efforts Washington State
Environmental Excellence Award (1987), on behalf of the State Ecological Commission and other tribes.
American Indian Distinguished Service Award (1989) Martin Luther King, Jr.
Distinguished Service Award (1990), for humanitarian achievement Albert Schweitzer Prize (1992), for humanitarianism
American Indian Visionary Award (2004), from Indian Country Today for “exceptional contributions to Indian American freedom.”
Northwest Regional Emmy Award (2010) from National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for "Outstanding On-Air Host or Moderator" 


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(Left) CO-PLAINTIFFS... Boldt Warriors Prof. William H. Rodgers Jr. and Billy Frank Jr.  Bill Rodgers serves on the Board of Advisors of THIS IS INDIAN COUNTRY.
Senator Daniel Inouye Letter to Nobel Peace Prize Committee 012910 FULL