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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Barbara Lane Walks On

Barbara Lane Walks On

We learned the terrifically sad news that Barbara
Lane, the legendary and heroic anthropologist
that served as the lead expert witness in the
United States v. Washington trial that led to the
Boldt decision passed away late last year.

Barbara Lane, one of the foremost experts in
First Nations anthropology and Native American
rights, passed away on December 31, 2013 in
Arlington, Washington. Dr. Lane produced
exceptional expert reports and testimony in more
than 40 court cases, many of which were pivotal
in determining the rights of native peoples to
access and use natural resources. The United
States federal courts that ruled on treaty
fishing rights in the Northwest relied heavily on
her testimony. Her work was instrumental for the
Quinault and other Washington Tribes in numerous
treaty fishing rights cases related to the 1974
Boldt Decision (U.S. vs Washington) and for the
Quinault in Mitchell vs U.S. in 1977. The United
States Supreme Court referenced her findings in
affirming the key decision on Northwest treaty
rights. (I.e. the 'Boldt' Decision.) She also
served as an expert witness in cases involving
fisheries and land claims of Canadian First
Nations. Her work was well known and respected by
Indigenous Peoples, the academic community, and
legal circles. She was retained as the U.S.
Federal Court of Oregon expert in U.S. v. Oregon in 1991.

Barbara was a member of the Society for Applied
Anthropology, the Canadian Sociological and
Anthropological Association, and the American
Ethnological Society. During her illustrious
career, she held many research, editorial and
administrative positions. Although she authored
numerous publications, she often preferred to do
her work without seeking public recognition.

She received an A.B. and M.A. from the University
of Michigan in the late 1940?s and earned a PhD
from the University of Washington in 1953.
Barbara held faculty positions at the
Universities of Washington, Hawaii, Pittsburg,
British Columbia, Victoria and Western Washington
University. In 2006, Barbara was awarded an
honorary Doctor of Law Degree from the University
of Victoria for her expertise and contributions
to First Nations anthropology and rights.

Her career took her to far reaches of the world,
including Postdoctoral Study at the Australian
National University from 1953-1954 and work with
Coast Salish peoples, India, and Vanuatu. Much of
her early work was done in professional
partnership with her Husband, Robert who predeceased her.

As Director for the Quinault Indian Bicentennial
Project from 1976-1977, she provided guidance and
direction for creating an historical record for
the people and culture of the Quinault Nation.
This work led to the publication of the Handbook
on Legislation and Litigation Affecting the
Quinault Reservation and established an
invaluable core of records for the Quinault
Historical Foundation (now called the Quinault Cultural Center).

Her home and office was located in Victoria,
British Columbia for many years. Barbara is
survived by a son, two daughters and one grandchild.

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