The Boldt Decision (U.S. v. Washington, also known as The Boldt Decision) - U.S. District Judge George Boldt's ruling interpreted the language of treaties made with Washington tribes more than a century earlier. He determined that the treaties -- agreements to move tribes to reservations to make way for white settlers -- reasserted Indian rights to half of the salmon harvests in perpetuity. The following is treaty language at the center of the controversy, and how Boldt interpreted it: "The right of taking fish, at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations, is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the Territory." - Treaty of Medicine Creek, 1854, Article 3. (The first of six treaties negotiated between Washington Territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens and Coastal Salish tribes between 1854 and 1856. All such treaties include variations of this provision.) "By dictionary definition and as intended and used in the Indian treaties and in this decision, 'in common with' means sharing equally the opportunity to take fish ... therefore, non-treaty fishermen shall have the opportunity to take up to 50% of the harvestable number of fish ... and treaty right fishermen shall have the opportunity to take up to the same percentage." - U.S. District Judge George Boldt, U.S. v. Washington, February 12, 1974.