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Former Washington State Governor Booth Gardner Passes On

Former Washington State governor Booth Gardner, a friend to Indian tribes, passed away March 15 from complications due to Parkinson's disease.
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He was a friend to Indian tribes and served two terms as governor of Washington state; Booth Gardner, a democratic, died at the age of 76 on Friday, March 15 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

“Governor Booth Gardner was a wonderful man and an exceptionally good governor. He was clearly a very close friend of the tribes, a man who truly understood the great value of establishing and maintaining positive relations with us, on a government-to-government basis, and who had the courage to stand up for what is right,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, in a statement.

“It was under Booth’s leadership that the State of Washington and the Northwest Tribes stepped away from constant court battles into a new era of cooperation in the 1980’s. It was he who signed the Centennial Accord with tribal leaders in 1989 and it was he who helped open the door to positive state/tribal relations in places where conflict and polarization existed before," Sharp continued. "Booth Gardner was a brilliant and visionary man. We pray the leadership he provided in his life will live on for generations to come. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and to all the people of Washington who we know will also miss this great and vastly accomplished man.”

Read more about Gardner’s life here.

A public memorial service will be held in Gardner’s honor on March 30 at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.