Washington Gov. Jay Inslee this week signed HB 1372, which will place a statue of tribal leader Billy Frank Jr. in the National Statuary Hall. Inslee was joined by members of Frank’s family, tribal and community members, Lt. Gov. Denny Heck and Rep. Debra Lekanoff when he signed the bill in a ceremony at Wa He Lut Indian School in Olympia.
“Billy Frank Jr.’s legacy should inspire Washingtonians to have open discussions about our place in the world, both what we take from the earth and what we give back. And it reaffirms certain truths as old as the Nisqually Tribe itself: That the environment is not just a resource; it is our home, and we must protect it,” Inslee said.
Frank’s statue will replace Marcus Whitman as one of Washington’s two statues represented in the U.S. Capitol. Mother Joseph Pariseau is the other statue representing Washington state in the U.S. Capitol. Mother Joseph’s statue was placed in 1980. Replicas of both statues are in the Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said, “Billy Frank, Jr. was a lifelong champion for Washington state’s Tribes, environment, and salmon and I’m so glad to see our state honoring him in this way. His statue will serve as a reminder to all of us in Congress about the importance of respecting tribal treaty rights and protecting and restoring critical salmon populations. As a voice for Washington state’s Tribes in the Senate I look forward to seeing this tribute to Billy Frank, Jr. and I know it will inspire future generations to protect and preserve our precious natural resources.”
— CBB, March 11, 2021, WESTERN WASHINGTON TRIBES URGE STATE SENATE APPROVAL TO REPLACE MARCUS WHITMAN STATUE WITH BILLY FRANK JR. IN U.S. CAPITOL https://www.cbbulletin.com/western-washington-tribes-urge-state-senate-approval-to-replace-marcus-whitman-statue-with-billy-frank-jr-in-u-s-capitol/