Russell Jim

Russell Jim serves as the head of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation’s Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program. Mr. Jim serves to protect and restore the environment and to cleanup the Hanford Nuclear site, while protecting the treaty rights of the Yakama Nation. Mr. Jim grew up in the Yakama territory along the Yakima River near present day Toppenish, Washington. From his elders he learned that the course of life is much like a river. People either go with the flow or against the current. Yet when he was much younger, he was swept away in the waves of Indian children taken from their families and placed into government boarding schools. Mr. Jim’s aunt helped him escape the school and raised him sharing all she could of the traditional Yakama ways. Mr. Jim’s focus has been on preserving the earth’s natural resources while instilling tribal youth with an interest and respect for their Yakama traditions.