October 7, 2019
For Immediate Release
NESEPLEM, WA—The Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation said today that informational presentations on the Tribes’ petition to quantify and protect its water rights will be given at membership district meetings in the near future.
“The Colville Business Council has requested these presentations so all tribal members’ questions about the Tribes’ water rights petition can be asked and answered,” CBC Chairman Rodney Cawston said today. “We want the membership to be fully informed about the purpose, timelines, and potential results of our submittal with the Washington Department of Ecology.”
The petition, filed in August, was a topic of discussion at the Tribes’ General Membership meeting in Inchelium on Friday, October 4. Cawston said it’s important to provide additional information at district meetings for all interested Colville members.
“We will have our water rights experts on hand, and answer questions during the district meetings,” he said. “These will be scheduled as soon as possible.”
Cawston said that the petition was submitted to the Washington Department of Ecology by the Tribes’ water rights attorneys, Alice Walker and Del Laverdure. Both are experts in Tribal water law and water rights litigation. Walker is a partner in the firm of Meyer, Walker, Condon & Walker, P.C. in Boulder, Colorado and Laverdure’s firm, Arrow Creek Law, is based in Billings, Montana. Walker and Laverdure were retained by the Tribes after an extensive search for the most experienced and successful lawyers in this field. Since then Walker and Laverdure have led a Tribal Water Rights Team including staff from the Tribes’ Natural Resources Department, the Environmental Trust Program, and the Office of the Reservation Attorney.