Ethics and the

    Columbia River Treaty

    Righting Historic Wrongs

  1. -

     Mike Iyall

     Cowlitz Indian Tribe Elder

     Former Director of Cowlitz Natural Resources Dept

I am a Cowlitz elder with a long history of serving my tribe.

I was Chair of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s Natural Resources Committee, a volunteer group, prior to accepting the paid position of Director of the Natural Resources Department in 2003.  I helped establish the Cowlitz Natural Resources Department from its inception, hiring the first employees and setting goals and objectives for the Department.  We formed coalitions with government agencies Federal, State, and local; to work in the environment on many projects from habitat to salmon and smelt restoration. Smelt/Eulachon were added to the Endangered Species list during my tenure to give Cowlitz another tool in our fight for fish passage.

I retired from Director of Natural Resources for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in March 2008.  After my retirement, I continued to support the Natural Resources Department in presentations and hearings related to the Tribes opposition to oil and coal trains and terminals.  For Natives, environment and culture are essential parts of life.  I am currently a member of the Cowlitz Resource Rights Committee.

I have also been a historian for my tribe.  Cowlitz are an under published Tribe with much of our history yet to be told. It has been exiting learning about my tribe and our place in history.

I served on Cowlitz Tribal Council through federal recognition, establishment of a reservation, and opening of our casino.