Emmett Oliver was a lot of things in his life. A U.S. Coast Guard officer. An educator. A policy maker. An advocate.
But it is, perhaps, the Paddle to Seattle that he organized in 1989 that has had the greatest impact on the lives of Indigenous Peoples—not just in the Pacific Northwest, but around the Pacific Rim.
Oliver, a citizen of the Quinault Nation, was a member of the committee planning the State of Washington’s centennial celebration when he organized the Paddle to Seattle to ensure the state’s First Peoples were represented.