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The Cultivation of ResentmentTreaty Rights and the New Right$
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Jeffrey R. Dudas

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758093

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758093.001.0001

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“This Is Not Equal Rights”: U.S. v. Washington and the Origins of the Anti-Treaty-Rights Movement

“This Is Not Equal Rights”: U.S. v. Washington and the Origins of the Anti-Treaty-Rights Movement

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter 4 “This Is Not Equal Rights”: U.S. v. Washington and the Origins of the Anti-Treaty-Rights Movement
Source:
The Cultivation of Resentment
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804758093.003.0004

This chapter details the Puget Sound “fish wars” of the 1970s and 1980s, which spawned the contemporary anti-treaty-rights movement itself. It chronicles how federal Judge George Boldt's landmark U.S. v. Washington (1974) District Court opinion, which interpreted centuries-old treaties as guaranteeing to area tribes up to 50 percent of the region's salmon and steelhead-trout catch, provided the occasion for a zealous countermobilization. This countermobilization movement, made up primarily of non-Indian commercial and sport fishers, insisted that Boldt's opinion was an affront both to personal interests and to core American values. Opponents argued that the decision was an increasingly typical example of how the equal rights of hard-working, “ordinary” Americans were sacrificed so that a guilt-ridden nation could atone for past sins by offering special rights to its traditionally disadvantaged populations. Convinced of its moral and legal rightness, the countermobilization movement engaged in activism that delayed the implementation of U.S. v. Washington for close to a decade.

Keywords:   Puget Sound, fish wars, anti-treaty-rights activism, Judge George Boldt, countermobilization, special rights

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