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News Release

Sierra Club

The Center for Environmental Law & Policy

When: Friday evening, March 1, 2019, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Where: Spokane, Patsy Clark Mansion 2208 West 2nd Ave., Spokane

Who: Kalispel Tribe of Indians. Included will be Tribal Leadership and Elders


Tom Soeldner 509.270-6995

John Roskelley 509.954-5653

John Osborn 509.939-1290

Tickets: $35 per person (may be purchased at the door, RSVPs requested)

Timeliness and relevance: Our Watershed Heroes

The Kalispel Tribe will receive the Watershed Hero Award because of the Tribe’s leadership in protecting the Pend Oreille River, especially in trying to overcome damage from dams on that river. More recently, the Tribe has taken a leadership role in protecting the airshed of northeastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle in the face of a silicon smelter proposed for Newport, Washington, supported by the Governor's office in Olympia. The Tribe, nearly annihilated during the 1800s, relegated to a small impoverished reservation near the Pend Oreille River serviced by a single telephone in the early 1960s, is well-known in the Inland Northwest, having donated $18 million through its charitable fund to support programs for the poor and social services in the region.

The honoring event provides a broader regional understanding and recognition not only for work the Kalispel Tribe has undertaken in the past, but also of the Tribe’s continuing efforts to meet the formidable challenges to protecting the Priest - Pend Oreille country that comprises the Tribe's ancestral homeland.

About the honoring event

“Winter Waters” is held annually in Spokane to celebrate work to restore the Upper Columbia River Basin and honor people who have made a significant contribution to protecting water for the common good. The event is jointly hosted by Sierra Club’s Upper Columbia River Group and the Center for Environmental Law & Policy, with the awards presented by Sierra Club.

Event Sponsors

Upper Columbia United Tribes * Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane * Eymann Allison Hunter Jones PS * William Skylstad, Bishop Emeritus * Columbia Institute for Water Policy * Suzy Dix * Martin Wells & Susan Briehl * Fred Christ * Kathy Dixon & Barbara Rasero * Morton Alexander & Paige Kenney * Tom Soeldner & Linda Finney * John & Joyce Roskelley * John & Rachael Osborn


Don't Smelter Our Future (website)

Sierra Club article: Honoring the Kalispel Tribe (PDF)

Honoring Event webpage

A Trout Triumph: Major Fish recovery project in NE Washington and Idaho gives boost to cutthroat and bull trout. Fred Willenbrock. Spokesman Review. February 20, 2019