Saturday, April 26, 2014

Carol Burns (1939-2014)

The Olympia progressive community and northwest Native Americans lost a talented friend this week with the death of film maker Carol Burns.  Carol was an activist who was instrumental in creating Thurston County TV and getting our Veterans For Peace Chapter on the air.  She was director when I first joined the crew in 2008.  I am director these days and much of what I know about that control room came from Carol.

Her media activisim dates back at least to the northwest tribal fisheries protests that began in the late Sixties as part of Treaty Rights and Indian Life movement.  Not only did Carol document the grievances and actions of Native Americans long denied to fish in traditional, she stood with them at the Puyallup River Encampment where she was arrested in September 1970, tried and ultimately acquitted on riot-related charges.  Her film, "As Long As the River Runs" is a testament to the determination of local tribes to assert long-ignored treaty rights. Those rights were recognized in the federal Boldt Decision in 1974 which was upheld by the US Supreme Court five years later.

Godspeed, Carol. 

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