A Tribute to Chief Johnny Jackson on His Journey Home

We mourn the loss of respected elder Chief Johnny Jackson of the Cascade Band of the Yakama Nation and also to honor and celebrate his life and contributions in protecting the cultural ways and rights of Indigneous peoples.

Chief Johnny Jackson was a founding member of the National Council of the Indigneous Environmental Network. He was part of the very first Protecting Mother Earth gathering in 1990 and advocated for the 1992 gathering to be held in his homelands on the banks of the Columbia River at Celilo Village that separates the states of Washington and Oregon.

The request to bring the gathering to his community was because of his long history of protecting the river, water rights and fishing rights. He served on the National Council as a member of the Elders Council. His contributions to the formation and development of IEN was and remains important. He was a constant reminder of the commitment to Mother Earth and our culture and traditions.

He also represented IEN in many national and international forums to lift up the importance of those aforementioned water and fishing rights. While soft spoken and humorous, his words and offerings were always fiercely protective of the traditions of Yakama peoples and other Indigenous peoples worldwide.

Tom Goldtooth

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