Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission

From Salish Sea Wiki


The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) is a support service organization for 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington. Headquartered in Olympia, the NWIFC employs approximately 65 people with satellite offices in Mount Vernon and Forks.

The NWIFC was created following the U.S. v. Washington ruling (Boldt Decision) that re-affirmed the tribes’ treaty-reserved fishing rights and established them as natural resources co-managers with the State of Washington. The commission is composed of representatives from each member tribe who elect a chair, vice chair and treasurer. Commissioners provide direction to the NWIFC executive director, who in turn implements that direction.

The role of the NWIFC is to assist member tribes in their role as natural resources co-managers. The commission provides direct services to tribes in areas such as biometrics, fish health and salmon management to achieve an economy of scale that makes more efficient use of limited federal funding. The NWIFC also provides a forum for tribes to address shared natural resources management issues and enables the tribes to speak with a unified voice in Washington, D.C.