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2005 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award

Honoree: Chairman Shawn Yanity

Shawn Yanity
Shawn Yanity

The 2005 Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award honors Chairman Shawn Yanity as a finalist for his leadership in the areas of intergovernmental cooperation, community development and conservation. Chairman Yanity has also helped improve the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indian's economic development opportunities and served as a catalyst for positive change in the natural resource management area.

Chairman Yanity has helped improve Tribal services in many categories ranging from medical care to education. He has also worked to improve tribal relationships at the state, county and city levels. Chairman Yanity initiated the Snohomish County Cultural Resources Oversight Committee that includes representatives from local tribes, the City of Arlington and Snohomish County.

The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians elected Yanity for six years as their representative on the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians Tribal Council. The tribe elected him Tribal Chairman in May 2004. Chairman Yanity is also the Tribal Fisheries Manager, Deputy Director of Public Safety and a member of the Child Protective Team.

Chairman Yanity helped establish Bank Savers, the Tribe's native plant nursery. He promotes the business to city, county, and Tribal agencies for wetland and stream restoration. This Tribal resource provides jobs, education and awareness of the importance of indigenous plants and protecting watersheds.

From 1980 to 1986, Shawn Yanity worked as a Fish Culturist and Fish Tagger with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. As Tribal Chairman, he continues to work to protect hunting, fishing and water rights. Chairman Yanity has also been very involved in the recent elk trapping and relocation project on Mount St. Helens.

Chairman Yanity volunteers many hours each year to the Stillaguamish Festival of the River. The festival is a family event that educates the community about watershed issues and salmon recovery efforts of the Tribe, as well as the County and City of Arlington. As Tribal Fisheries Manager, he also works on salmon recovery efforts by meeting with government representatives to discuss issues that affect salmon habitat and watersheds.

Chairman Yanity is a member of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. He is currently attending a Lushootseed language class at Skagit College to become a certified language instructor. Chairman Yanity lives in Arlington, Washington.


2005 Honorees

W. Ron Allen

Robi Michelle Craig

Leaf Hillman

Chief Robert Pasco

Shawn Yanity


Learn More

About Shawn Yanity:

Tribe takes healthy pride in new buffalo herd
The Daily Herald, May 1, 2008

Elk herd keeps Stillaguamish Tribe fed
The Daily Herald, January 23, 2008

Native Perspectives on Sustainability
Interview with Shawn Yanity for dissertation by David Hall, Ph.D.

Tribe memorializes reburial of remains
The Daily Herald, September 23, 2006

Stillaguamish Tribe wants to enlarge its reservation
The Daily Herald, September 16, 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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