OLYMPIA, WA – Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, the elected official who leads the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), today offered her heartfelt thanks to Johnson Meninick, a fierce warrior for his people and a defender and proponent of protecting the culture and traditions of the Yakama Nation, who passed away Sunday:
“I am saddened by the loss of Johnson Meninick. He was a tremendous leader and fierce defender of the Yakama culture. He served as the Yakama Nation Cultural Resources Program Manager, a program that, under his watchful eye, oversaw hundreds of archeological projects each year.
“We were proud to work alongside him, and thankful for the lessons he offered and the understanding he built of the culture and importance of the Yakama Nation to Washington state. Johnson leaves behind a long, rich history, including being in the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame, and was well known for his powwows throughout the northwest and as the singer of 'Yakama' drum.
“We celebrate him and all he has given to our state and his people even as we mourn his passing. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”