28 Feb Letter of Support – Clear Sky Youth Leadership Council’s call for the Seattle School District to formally adopt March 9th as Billy Frand Jr. Day
February 9, 2021
Dear Seattle Public Schools Board Members,
We would like to join the efforts of the Clear Sky Youth Leadership Council, an inspirational cadre of dedicated Indigenous youth leaders with the motto “Empowerment through Education, Culture, and Tradition,” to support a youth-led effort to uphold Seattle Public Schools’ commitment to equity and inclusion by formally adopting March 9 as Billy Frank Jr. Day.
The Billy Frank Jr. Day Resolution calls for designating March 9 as a day of remembrance, celebration, and recognition of the life, legacy, and achievements of Billy Frank Jr. (Nisqually Nation). Billy Frank Jr., 1931-2014, was a courageous advocate for tribal treaty rights in the Northwest. He is remembered for his leadership role in gaining fishing rights for Native people when treaties were being ignored by the U.S. government. First arrested as a teenager in 1945 for “illegally” fishing on the Nisqually River, Frank would go on to lead “fish-ins” and demonstrations, and would be arrested more than 50 times. His crucial work, his dedication, and his determination as a treaty advocate and environmental steward would lead to national and international recognition, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. An inspiration to so many around the world, Billy Frank Jr. is the definition of a role model, and now more than ever, it is important for more people to know about Billy Frank Jr. and his story.
We encourage SPS to recognize Billy Frank Jr. Day every March 9 for all SPS students and staff to learn, celebrate, and engage in civic service to commemorate the life, legacy and enduring spirit of our hero. Please adopt the Billy Frank Jr. Resolution proposed by Seattle Clear Sky Native Youth Council and Allies.
We raise our hands to you,
Duwamish Tribal Services
Longhouse Media, Indigenous Showcase
Na’ah Illahee Fund
National Urban Indian Family Coalition
Native Action Network
Native American Women’s Dialog on Infant Mortality
Northwest Justice Project-Native American Unit
Red Eagle Soaring
United Indians of all Tribes Foundation
Urban Native Education Alliance