Imagine your personal property–inherited from your ancestors–is acknowledged by the highest court in the land as belonging to you and your kin, and hordes of strangers move in and take it. That might tend to be upsetting, especially if you and your ancestors repeatedly–over the course of two centuries–attempted to resolve things amicably.
Water is one of those belongings of the Coast Salish and other indigenous peoples. It sustains all life.
With the theft of water by real estate developers, the life of the native salmon and the life-ways of the indigenous people who depend on them is stolen. As Jamestown S’Klallam tribal chairman Ron Allen remarks,
From our perspective, the conversation here is about how we can implement responsible stewardship over water resources to the benefit of everyone.
In an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of tribal sovereignty and cultural resource protection, the Seattle Times editorial board conflates treaty fishing rights of Northwest Indians with undue political influence. Rather than acknowledge the jurisdictional interest pertaining to land and water use affecting salmon reproduction–retained by the tribes in the treaties with the US–the Times board adopts the anti-Indian position promoted by former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, himself known for his inflammatory, racist remarks.
The political muscle behind Anti-Hirst (the water wells decision) is the Washington Association of Realtors, the Building Industry Association of Washington, and the Washington Farm Bureau–which has little to do with small-time farmers, who are routinely used as sympathy mascots by the anti-Indian forces listed above.
People with real (or imagined) grievances are recruited by property rights groups—usually organized by the real estate industry–which funnel the fervent into the militias, until you end up with OK City.
The Indians and their treaties have always been in the way of the developers, more so than endangered species. The developers and mainstream media they support through advertising have gotten away with cultural genocide, and now they want to extinguish wild salmon.
To make sure they get their way, they corrupt both media and politics, organize vigilantes and fund racist terrorism. Anti-Hirst is Anti-Indian.