Washington State Bill Seeks to Exempt Local Governments from Indian Grave Protection

House Bill 1713 seeks to categorically exempt city and county development or redevelopment efforts from compliance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Among other environmental protections, this bill could allow cities and counties to sidestep protocols intended to protect Indian burial grounds, graves, skeletal remains and relayed cultural patrimony pursuant to the State Indian Graves and Records Act, RCW 27.44. Washington Indian tribes should categorically oppose House Bill 1713. Gabriel "Gabe" Galanda is a partner at Galanda Broadman PLLC, of Seattle, an American Indian majority-owned law firm.  He is an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California.  He can be reached at 206.691.3631 or gabe@galandabroadman.com, or via galandabroadman.com.