On July 8, 2016, the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) sponsored a rally and march in Hoquiam, Washington, along the Hoquiam River just above the point where it empties into Grays Harbor bay. The aim of the rally and march was prevention of the development of an oil terminal in Grays Harbor. The rally started with the arrival of two Quinault canoes and a flotilla of kayaks and boats carrying the legend “Shared Waters, Shared Values,” the theme of the rally.
After the canoes landed, the members of QIN held a dance onshore and organized a march of all the participants to Hoquiam city hall. Speakers included members of Quinault, Quileute, Sami, Makah and Lummi nations, as well as city council members from Hoquiam and Aberdeen. A ten-year-old boy, one of the plaintiffs in the Plant for the Planet lawsuit against the state government, spoke passionately about climate change. All emphasized the need to stop development of an oil terminal at Grays Harbor, which would present a major threat to the environment of the area. Quinault fishermen depend on the resources of the harbor and other non-tribal fishermen spoke against the oil terminal as well. Hoquiam city council has already passed a resolution against the oil terminal and Aberdeen city council is likely to pass one in the near future.
Unitarian-Universalists from Seattle, Des Moines and Olympia were among the participants and spoke of our moral commitment to climate action and prevention of oil disasters, priorities of UU Voices for Justice of Washington State. We indicated our support for the Native American groups in their efforts to stop the terminal. Other faith groups, including Earth Ministry, also participated in the march and rally.