Johnny Jackson: Protecting Sacred Sites

Johnny Jackson talks about protecting sacred sites along the river and resisting the reservations.

Bio: Johnny Jackson is a respected elder and honorary Columbia River Chief representing the Cascades Band. He served in the army in the ‘50s and has been a fisherman for many years. Currently, he serves as a Yakama Commissioner for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s (CRITFC). Johnny Jackson is not only a strong advocate for fishing rights, but is outspoken in preserving cultural places and protecting places/resources from further development and deterioration. He lives near the confluence of the Columbia and White Salmon rivers in Underwood, WA.


When the war was over they decided to put the Indians–the Oregon Indians, the people on their side of the river–on the reservation that they created as Warm Springs and the others went the Yakama Reservation. But Slockish would not give in, because he signed for the River People. Why? Because our most important values and most important sacred grounds were there, that we wanted to protect and watch over. That was our commentaries and other things that we had there, so we stayed. We never left.

Related Content