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Help Us Understand Pacific Northwest Salmon and Treaty Rights

Dozens of people have told us about the decline of wild fish in the Columbia River and the U.S. government’s failure to uphold treaty rights. Now, we’re interested in hearing from you.

Jeff T. Green/Getty Images

Nearly 170 years ago, the U.S. government started signing treaties with Indigenous tribes in the Pacific Northwest that amassed millions of acres of land for new settlers. In exchange for their signatures, hundreds of tribes retained the rights to critical natural resources, including fresh water and salmon.

But the U.S. government broke those agreements. It ignored them. It even fraudulently altered them. Some tribes were excluded from these treaties altogether.

Oregon Public Broadcasting and ProPublica are examining the U.S. government’s failure to uphold its promises. With your help, we’d like to understand the continued decline of wild fish and the polluting of waters that tribal members and their neighbors depend on. Hearing your experiences can help us focus our stories with your communities in mind and hold the relevant institutions accountable.

Please fill out this questionnaire if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are a member of a tribe.
  • You work, or have worked, with a public agency, tribe or other entity that manages fishing, hatchery production, river pollution or water rights.
  • You fish commercially or work in an industry affected by fisheries management.

As you go through the form, follow-up questions will arise based on your responses. You can also email us at [email protected] to reach our reporting team.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR PRIVACY: We appreciate you sharing your story. ProPublica and Oregon Public Broadcasting are gathering this information for our reporting and will not publish any of your responses without your consent.

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Maya Miller contributed reporting.

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