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2004 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award

Honoree: Terry Williams

Terry Williams
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"We all share a common planet with many common problems to overcome. Working together, perhaps we can solve them and make this a better place for everyone."
—Terry Williams

The 2004 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award honors Terry Williams as a finalist for his vision and leadership in natural resource and environmental management. He has helped increase tribal sovereignty through tribal environmental regulatory and programmatic development. Williams is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and lives in Marysville, Washington.

An illustration of William's work is reflected in the proposed Bio-Gas facility for the Tulalip Tribes and the Lower Skykomish River Dairy Farmers. The sewage treatment system for cow manure provides greater water quality protection for fish and a potential income stream for farmers. This facility will collect methane from the waste and generate power. Collected and processed compost and fertilizer materials with safe bacteria levels may develop into a product for local markets.

Since 1982, Williams has served as a Fisheries and Natural Resources Commissioner for the Tulalip Tribes. In this role, he directs pre-season fisheries negotiations, governmental planning and cooperative habitat management. Since 1985, Williams has served on the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. He has also represented the Tulalip Tribes on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council since 1985 and served on the Pacific Salmon Commission since 1997.

Appointed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Carol Browner, Williams served as the director of the EPA American Indian Environmental Office in Washington, D.C. from 1995 to 1996. This office addressed specific environmental issues of Indian tribes nationwide. From 2003 to 2004, Williams served as Chair of the Tribal Committee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. This year, he was a participant in the EPA Tribal Trust Program that addressed cultural sustainability via restoration and protection of endangered species.

Williams has also worked on tribal issues at the international level. In 1997, the Secretary for Policy and International Affairs Office of the Department of the Interior appointed Williams to represent indigenous peoples on the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity.

Williams currently serves on the Salmon Homecoming Alliance Board and the Northwest Straits Commission. He is also a member of the Snohomish Basin Salmon Recovery Forum, a multi-interest coalition that guides salmon conservation efforts in the Snohomish River basin. The forum is developing a local salmon conservation plan and prioritizing critical restoration projects.

Appointed by Governor Booth Gardner, Williams served from 1985 to 1995 on the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority. He also served on the board of the Center For Streamside Studies, Adopt-A-Stream Foundation and the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society. Williams has received the Washington State Environmental Award and the Seventh Generation Legacy Award for his work.


2004 Honorees

Clarence Alexander

Ivan Jackson, Sr.

Sarah James

Teri Rofkar

Terry Williams


Learn More

About Terry Williams:

Briggs: Climate change may be unstoppable
February 26, 2009

We Have These Rights
November 19, 2006

Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations
October 2006


Astrid Scholz
tel: 503.467.0758
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Jason Pretty Boy
Indigenous Resilience Fellow
tel: 503.467.0803


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