Nov. 3 @ 10:00 a.m.
Hello world —
I’m Fawn Sharp, and I’m the President/CEO of the Quinault Indian Nation, a federally recognized sovereign Tribal Nation in Washington State. The Quinault Indian Nation governs over 200,000 acres of our ancestral homelands that includes 31 miles of pristine undeveloped Pacific Ocean coastline, the world’s most fertile temperate rain forests, and the Olympic Mountains and multiple mighty rivers. We also manage a growing business enterprise with over $100 million in annual revenue. This year, our Nation took the lead in organizing an unprecedented Tribal and community of color coalition that co-authored and co-manages I-1631, the climate change ballot initiative that has become the most expensive election in Washington State history due to over $30 million in opposition spending by Texas oil companies and the Koch Brothers. I am honored to be the chairwoman of this coalition, as this is a life or death issue to Quinault: our ancestral villages are already being flooded by sea level rise and need to be relocated upland to save our people from existential destruction.
A little about my background: I grew up in materially very poor circumstances on the reservation but, thanks to great mentors and family, was able to achieve my dreams through hard work and education at places like Oxford and Gonzaga (Go Zags!). I am a former Miss Teen Washington, CIA veteran, and judge who became an international human rights attorney recognized by the United Nation as a global expert on indigenous rights. Due to needs at home, I returned home and ran for Tribal President in 2006 — I’m currently in my fifth consecutive term. I am a single mother of four, including three adopted children, and am blessed to live on Lake Quinault, the most beautiful place in the world. I’m also deadly serious about Crossfit and my canoe family 🙂