Seattle is extraordinary in many ways, but one of its especially unique features is that it is located within tribal treaty territory. This means that tribes have a role in many of our programs and projects, and that we are partners in ways like no other City. Our water and power supply largely come from tribal treaty lands, and the region’s rich cultural heritage is reflected throughout the fabric of the City.
Not only does the future Mayor need to work with our tribal neighbors, but we have a large Urban Indian population here in Seattle. Jessyn embraces this distinguished aspect of Seattle and looks forward to working with the Native American community, both Tribal and Urban. She has expressed support on numerous issues of great importance to not only Seattle- area tribes but regionally and nationally as well.
Climate Change and Environment
Jessyn is Seattle’s Mayoral candidate with the most progressive record on climate change, and recognizes that tribes are often at the forefront of this battle, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. She recognizes that tribes and other marginalized communities are often disproportionately affected by the harmful effects of fossil fuels.
Jessyn understands that the lift on the ban against coal development initiated by our current administration could have severe effects on tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest. Given the City’s national stature as a leader in partnering with tribes, Jessyn stands with tribes across the country against exploitation of their lands and natural resources.
Treaty Fishing & Clean Water
Tribes entered into treaties with the United States government and ceded their homelands to what would become Washington State with the expectation that government promises regarding continued access to fishing would be honored. For many tribes in this region, their way of life depends on fishing and healthy fish habitat. Jessyn understands that these treaty rights must be honored and we must protect these waterways so that the tribes can maintain their subsistence way of life. This includes adopting stricter water quality standards, aiding in clean up efforts, and exploring creative ways to restore culverts.
Most Native Americans do not live on reservations, but in cities like Seattle. They are a vibrant part of the City and surrounding towns, but are unfortunately overrepresented in too many negative socio-economic indicators. Homelessness and educational disparities are major issues for our Urban Indian population here in Seattle. Jessyn is dedicated to making sure that when the City approaches such critical issues, members of the Urban Indian Community have a seat at the table and their needs are met with equitable funding and programming.