Janet McCloud / Yet-si Blue (she/her)

By Anonymouse

A drawing of a pink Chinook Salmon.
“Chinook Salmon” by Anonymouse.

Along the lines of the Nisqually and Puyallup River stood a crowd banded together against the violations of the Treaty of Medicine Creek, among the organizers stood a woman, Janet McCloud. Janet McCloud, or Yet-si Blue, was born on March 30th, 1934 on the Tulalip reservation in Washington. She eventually moved to Frank’s Landing on the Nisqually river. In 1961 the McCloud residence was searched under the presumption that they had deer meat. This event would spark a fire inside her to eventually fight back, protesting against the unlawful searches and arrests which were a product of faulty treaties which ignored native practices.

With the Medicine Creek Treaty of 1854, the state had full reign of off reservation hunting and fishing which included the Nisqually river. Many Natives relied on the Nisqually river for fishing including McCloud and her family, who specifically relied on the river for food. This proved to be a point of contention as state game agents would arrest those who rightfully fished the river under their native practices and culture. The tension would continue to escalate and in 1964, McCloud would become one of the founders of the Survival of the American Indians Association. The conflict over fishing rights eventually led to the arrest of Janet McCloud herself on Oct. 13, 1965 with five other Native Americans after a particularly brutal attack. The game wardens targeted a group of fifty Natives comprised mostly of women and children. In jail, McCloud and the other detained Natives stood their ground and went on hunger strike. Upon release she continued to find ways to protest, such as occupying and loitering outside of the jail where many Natives would be held. She was given the name Yet-si Blue which means “woman who speaks her mind.” amidst the various protests. These protests were dubbed “fish-ins” and eventually the Medicine Creek Treaty of 1854 was upheld. Washington State tribes were granted fifty percent of the salmon and steelhead catch. Janet McCloud’s contribution to the fight for Native American rights proved instrumental as she continued to contribute to the American Indian Movement (AIM). She would go on to form Women of All Red Nations (WARN) with other Native women. In 1985, she hosted about 300 Indigenous women from all over the world for five days on her ten acre property. Over this five day period, the women and McCloud would discuss topics like social, economic and family problems. This gave birth to the Indigenous women’s network. Janet McCloud passed away on November 25, 2003, and on September 19, 2004, over 200 people came together in remembrance and celebration of McClouds life. She would go on to be remembered as a great activist and her legacy included eight children, 25 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and numerous adopted children.


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Badass Womxn and Enbies in the Pacific Northwest Volume 2 Copyright © 2023 by Badass Zine Machine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.