Indigenous Environmental Network, Protecting Mother Earth Conference 6-28 to 7-1

Vincent Schilling

Protecting Mother Earth Conference hosted by LSqualli-Absch, the Nisqually People, IEN, and Indigenous Climate Action

News Release

Indigenous Environmental Network


Indigenous Environmental and Climate Justice Leaders to Hold Press Conference at Washington State Capitol on June 26th

Leadership to speak for Indigenous Rights and the Climate Justice Movement as hundreds travel to historic Frank’s Landing from June 28-July 1st for the Protecting Mother Earth Conference.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, tribal leadership and environmental activists will speak on the North steps of the capitol to highlight common concerns of Pacific Northwest Tribes and Indigenous Peoples worldwide. These concerns will be the focus of the 17th Protecting Mother Earth conference, scheduled for June 28 to July 1st, 2018 at Frank’s Landing, (Near Lacey, Washington) on Nisqually territory.

Nisqually Tribal Councilman Hanford McCloud, Puyallup Tribal Councilwoman Connie McCloud, Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network and Eriel Deranger from Indigenous Climate Action are among those scheduled to highlight climate justice, clean water, oceans and fisheries, salmon protection, renewable energy, food sovereignty, forest protection, environmental health, the Rights of Mother Earth and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision favoring Northwest Tribes’ efforts to protect salmon.

Everyone is welcome to attend along with local, national and international media.

When: Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Begin Time: 10: 00am

End Time: 11:30am


Washington State Capitol Building: 416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98504


Eriel DeRanger, Indigenous Action Climate

Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network

Willie Frank, Nisqually Indian Tribel Council

Hanford McCloud, Nisqually Indian Tribal Council

Connie McCloud, Puyallup Tribal Representative

Media Contact: Jade Begay, Indigenous Environmental Network,

There's still time to join us at the Protecting Mother Earth Conference!

Learn more and register online

Frank’s Landing is the ideal location for the 17th Protecting Mother Earth Conference

When: June 28 through July 1st**,** 2018.

Location Address for GPS: Wa He Lut Indian School - 11110 Conine Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98513

The Protecting Mother Earth Conference, is being hosted by the LSqualli-Absch, the Nisqually People, and co-sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Climate Action. The four-day event will be attend by an estimated 1000 people at Frank’s Landing, site of the 1960s fishing wars that led to the 1974 Boldt Decision.

Nisqually leader Billy Frank, Jr., and his father were the targets of state game wardens for decades as they exercised their inherent and treaty fishing rights, on the six acres along the Nisqually River, now known as Frank’s Landing. Their struggle gained national attention through a series of civil disobedience actions, in which the Nisqually tribe pressured the U.S. government to recognize fishing rights granted by the Treaty of Medicine Creek.

These actions and the final decision reaffirmed the Treaty rights of Northwest tribal fishermen and allocated to them 50 percent of the harvestable catch of salmon and steelhead.*

This year's gathering is Indigenous-initiated, designed and led for the purpose of uplifting the critical voices of those on the frontlines who continue to fight against the violation of Indigenous treaty rights, self-determination, environmental justice, and climate change.

“We are coming back to a historical stronghold of the 60s and early 70s where the Nisqually tribe and its peoples stood up in non-violent direct action to defend their culture, way of life, and their inherent rights to hunt, fish, and gather in all their “usual and accustomed places”, under the Treaty of Medicine Creek of December 26, 1854. Our 17th Protecting Mother Earth conference will be at the site of Frank's Landing where in the 1960’s, people came from all over the world to stand with people like the young Billy Frank Jr, who with many others, were harassed and arrested for speaking out for the rights of the salmon and a healthy environment. The Nisqually territories is also a birthplace of the Indigenous Women's Movement honoring the legacy of Janet McCloud, the co-founder of Women of All Red Nations and who hosted the first gathering of the Indigenous Women’s Network.” Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network

The PME has an indigenous spiritual foundation with the lighting of a Sacred Fire that remains lit for four days. Coals from previous PME's are used as the foundation of the fire and is the connection that binds us and strengthens our resolve.

The four-day event will include plenaries, panels, workshops and break-out sessions - a convergence of U.S. and Canadian Indigenous grassroots, frontline communities and Native Nations in order to build and strengthen strategic opposition, shift power, strengthen momentum (from Standing Rock) and confront the challenges of a new U.S. administration that is weakening and completely eliminating protection mechanisms for clean water, sacred sites, national monuments, forests, and endangered species as they fast-track dirty energy development in Indian Country under the guise of national security.

“We are in a time of great change. A time of change that will require us to come together as people and reconnect with each other and the planet. As Indigenous peoples we have maintained a sacred connection to our Mother Earth that is critical in understanding and addressing the current climate crisis we find ourselves are in. Currently, the U.S and Canadian governments are making decisions and policies that move us further away from a possible climate stable future, by further investing, buying and developing dirty energy projects and not adhering to international climate commitments. This is an indication that we the People, Indigenous Peoples, must be prepared to take real action on climate change and be the leaders for the protection of Mother Earth.” Eriel Deranger, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action, Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Eriel DeRanger, Executive Director, Indigenous Climate Action

Important Links and Information

PME webpage

Eventbrite - Online Registration

* Steelhead is not salmon. Salmon Trout and Steelhead are types of trout, an entirely different fish from the same family of fish as salmon. A salmon is always a salmon, but a Steelhead starts its life out as a Rainbow Trout. If the Rainbow Trout migrates to the ocean, it becomes a Steelhead.

Important Information for All Attending the PME!

First, we'd like to thank everyone registered and is attending the 17th Protecting Mother Earth Gathering hosted by the LSqualli-Absch, the Nisqually People (People of the River, People of the Grass) held within the territories of the Nisqually Nation, near Olympia, Washington.

We’re very excited for what’s looking to be an amazing and large event with nearly 1,000 people already registered! You can find the preliminary agenda here: Workshop titles and descriptions will be added soon - so check back on the website and we will have agendas posted at the registration area.

We’ll be camping and hosting the conference in the areas around the Wa He Lut Indian School. The school will not be open to attendees unless otherwise announced/noted. Please be respectful of the spaces we have been generously allowed to use by following onsite signage, protocols, and conventions included in this document. Always, when in doubt ask and we will be glad to help you.

IF you plan to attend and have not registered or still undecided there is time - Click here to register.

Location Address for GPS: Wa He Lut Indian School - 11110 Conine Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98513

Check In

  • Registration will be open at Noon on June 27th and be available until 8am Sunday July 1
  • Campers can begin setting up their area on June 27th at 8am.There will be people at the entrance who will direct you to the camping area and others to help you pick a location.
  • Please remember to register if you arrive before registration opens and sign up to volunteer if you are able.

Camping - What to Bring

We will have some camping and dining supplies onsite for folks who could not bring their own and are planning to camp but they are limited supplies, so as much as possible, we are asking everyone to bring with them:

  1. Tent, sleeping bags, mattresses or mattress pads, chairs, whatever you want to make your campsite and you comfortable.
  2. Extra blanket or ground cover for open mic and evening outdoor entertainment.
  3. Reusable water bottle- there will be water stations set up in the area.
  4. Reusable plates, cup, bowl and silverware to wash and reuse and a bag to carry it all in.
  5. Towels, wash clothes, soaps, prescription medications and other personal hygiene products. We will not have these available-or in very limited supply. Outdoor showers and porta-potties on site.
  6. Proper clothing - days will be in the mid 70’s and evenings in the mid 50’s.

RV’s - Trailers

RV’s are welcome and will be directed to the RV area upon registration. This is a primitive camping area therefore, water connections will not be available and we’re still checking on power. Best advice is be prepared for no or limited electricity. No dumping stations on site.


If you’re unable to camp, here’s a list of links to local hotels and a link to search for additional options:

Click here for a list, info and contact numbers for other hotels in the area Note: This is a link to a Google search page – scroll down the page to find the hotels near the PME Hotel rooms are at your own cost.


Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner will be served from June 28th breakfast to July 1st through lunch. No meals will be served on the 27th for attendees, so come prepared or choose one of the local options available.

Dietary Needs/Requests

We have taken note of specific needs from everyone who responded regarding food allergies and preferences and will have a variety of choices to accommodate everyone as much as possible. If you have very specific food/drink needs you should bring these with you.

Ground Transportation - SeaTac, Olympia Regional, Train Station

If you need transportation from area airports/train station we have provided a form here: to request pick up/drop off at SeaTac (Seattle/Tacoma) and Olympia Regional airports. Please fill the form out as complete as possible, to include date/time of arrival, departure, and airline/flight numbers. We will gather everyone’s information on this form and you will be contacted about your transportation as arrival time draws closer.

Train station pickups on a limited basis - please email for availability:

If you need, Lyft and Uber are available in the area as well.


We will have several volunteer roles for you to sign up for, if you so choose, during the camp so please sign up at registration as you arrive for those various roles.

Protocol / Event Conventions

  • Children - we want them to join us and we want them to be safe, therefore we ask that they be accompanied by an adult at all times. Children are not allowed to play, swim or bathe in the Nisqually River and adults are discouraged from it during the event as well. We are providing day care and we encourage parents and caregivers to volunteer for a shift if you can. You can sign up for day care and other volunteer roles during the gathering at check in. Bring toys, books, or other favorite items for the children as well.
  • Pictures - please be mindful and ask permission before taking pictures or recording video. During certain gatherings / ceremony you may be asked to not take pictures or video. If in doubt ask.
  • Media - All media and journalists are required to check in at the media tent.
  • Service animals are welcome and should be clearly designated. Allowance can be made for them in certain areas/events.
  • Pets - We kindly request that you not bring your pets with you to this event. However, if you do, there will be a designated area for you to camp and there are no animals allowed around the arbor, sacred fire or other sensitive areas. There will be a dog walking area - and we understand there might be accidents - in any case, please clean up after your friend.
  • Please keep your camping area tidy. There will be stations to dispose of trash and for recycling.
  • We strongly encourage people not to use/bring disposables as much as possible.
  • Keep your valuables secured or with you. We will have security on site however, we can not be responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • Vehicles - If you are driving into the PME, you may be able to drive to the camping area to drop off equipment but will have to park in a designated area. We will have security monitoring around the clock. Please lock your vehicles.
  • First Aid - We will have a medical tent for minor injuries and maladies with qualified staff assisting any emergency needs on site.
  • Mobility - The ground around the camping, workshops, and school areas are grassy/uneven - therefore if you have mobility issues we plan to have golf carts available for moving between plenary, workshop, dining areas. Please let staff know when you register that you may need this assistance. We will do everything we can to accommodate these needs.
  • Strictly Prohibited - This is a drug and alcohol free gathering. No firearms allowed on the property.
  • No swimming/bathing in the river - The river in this area is unsafe due to fast currents and deep water. Please do not wash dishes or throw food/waste into the water or on the river bank. No dog walking along the river.
  • Sacred Fire - Please be quiet around this area and respectful when approaching the fire. There will be a firekeeper at all times and obey any direction that may be given by the firekeeper. Do NOT throw anything into the fire. There will be other protocols provided at the opening ceremony and lighting of the sacred fire.

If you need additional assistance or have questions our PME staff/volunteers/security/etc., will have badges identifying their roles.

We’re working very hard to accommodate everyone’s needs but if you have any outstanding concerns before you arrive please send us an email at If you can wait until you arrive please do, staff is busy with final preparations but if your concern can’t wait, we’ll do the best we can to answer in a timely manner.

Our hosts, event organizers, partners, allies, speakers, staff, and volunteers want everyone to have a safe and productive experience and we are very grateful that you will be joining us at this year's 17th Protecting Mother Earth Conference.

Looking forward to you joining us for this most important gathering.

Thank you very much!


Press Pool