|Tribe||First female leader of the Yakama Nation|
|Born||April 1, 1940|
|Died||June 2, 2011|
Washines was first elected to the Yakama Nation Tribal Council in 1985. In 2006, she became chair of the tribal council, serving until 2008.
Chairwoman Lavina Washines, the first woman to run the tribe, questioned the tobacco tax compact after she was elected. Along with a separate agreement for gasoline taxes, she said they were signed without proper approval of the tribal council. "It's an everyday fight to protect our rights, even this day in 2007," Washines told The Yakima Herald-Republic of efforts to impose state laws on the tribe.
She was "a respected elder of the Kah-milt-pah, known as the Rock Creek band from an area south of Goldendale along the Columbia River." She spoke several Yakima dialects and was "a tireless advocate for her tribe’s treaty rights and sovereignty." She helped preserve the Yakima's fishing rights at Lyle Point, where the Klickitat River flows into the Columbia, saying:
"This is a great day for the Yakamas -- to get the land returned back for access to our fishing right areas. The younger generation will continue to exercise their Creator-given right to our very important salmon. The U.S. government promised us with their honorable word to uphold their trust responsibility. All Yakamas will benefit with this accomplishment by the current Tribal Council officials."
Lyle Point, or Nanainmi Waki Uulktt, "the place where the wind blows from two directions," is a traditional location for drying salmon, which had become a popular windsurfing location in the 1980s. It was slated for development as a gated community before purchase by the Yakama Nation with the Trust for Public Land.
In 2007, she spoke about an ongoing lawsuit by the Yakama Nation regarding the Hanford Nuclear Site Cleanup. "The tribe had sued the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002, seeking restoration of soil, water, plant and animal life that may have been damaged by radioactive waste and other hazardous releases at the south-central Washington site. The Nez Perce Tribe later joined the lawsuit, as did Washington and Oregon.
Lavina Washines, Yakama Nation chairwoman, said in a statement that recovery of those costs is absolutely essential in a case this size. "These injury studies are so expensive that a government must know at the onset it can recover them from the polluter," she said. "Now we will be able to do the studies necessary to understand the full extent of the harm done by Hanford."
"We have to go out and fish -- that’s our life -- it’ll always be our life ... we want to be able to go to the water and get our salmon like our creator directs us through our songs."
- Ferolito, Phil (2011-06-03). "Yakamas mourning loss of ground-breaking leader". The Wenatchee World. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- "Yakama treaty protects smokeshop owners from prosecution". Indianz.Com. 2007-05-21. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
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- Rollins, Michael (2007-05-21). "White Salmon: The Yakama nation celebrates the return of its original land". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
- Hansen, Terry C. (2007-06-11). "Yakama Nation buys Lyle Point, ending decades-long struggle over fishing rights". Mother Earth Journal. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
- "Lyle Point Returns to Yakama Nation (WA/OR)". The Trust for Public Land. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
- Dininny, Shannon (2007-09-06). "Hanford dismissal motion denied". Spokesman.com, The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
- Owings, Alison (2007-09-27). "Huckleberry treaty sealed with handshake". seattlepi.com. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
- O'Shea-Evans, Kathryn, Salmon: Spirit of the People, retrieved 2013-04-09