Steward of Native Lands
For more than 40 year, Russell Jim has been fighting to ensure that the ancestral lands of the Yakama people remain safe from nuclear contamination. His efforts began in the 1970s when the federal government proposed burying all the country's nuclear waste deep underground on the basalt beds of Central Washington. With a background in cultural science, law and politics, this former cowboy, railroad worker, engineering aid and firefighter stood up for the people of the Yakama Nation in a David and Goliath battle that ultimately blocked the project from our region. He then turned his attention to the cleanup of the Hanford Reach. Today, he remains resolved in his efforts to hold the government accountable to clean up the site to the highest standards.