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Letter from an orca: We were here for thousands of years before you. We relied upon the precious resources of this region to thrive. Our homeland extended from south Puget Sound to the straits now known as Juan de Fuca. The pure waters were our lifeblood. The salmon fed us. We never took more than we needed. The bond among our families was unbreakable. We willingly shared our resources because all life is sacred, even though this made the area we had survived in since time immemorial ever smaller and less habitable.

We shared our salmon, but you took more than your share, leaving us little to survive on. Our waters became polluted. Our infant mortality increased. We were reduced to being tourist attractions. Our sons and daughters disappear daily. For 200 years you did little to help us until we were almost gone. We have no privacy, even in our grief. And, now, you expect us to believe you care.

Imagine what a brotherhood and sisterhood we could have shared, had you recognized that your future, and of future generations, is inseparable from ours. There is still time.

Now imagine that I am an Indian.

Jack Fiander, Yakima, member, Yakama Nation