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Quinault Allottees annually provide the Nelson D. Terry Scholarship to Native American law students

March 13, 2017

  • News Image
    Theresa Dicks, a Quinault Allottee, and Nelson D. Terry at Federal Court, Seattle, 1973
    Photo from Maggie Vandehey

In 1991, members of the Quinault Allottees Association gifted two scholarship programs to Lewis & Clark College. These scholarships are part of the Quinault Allottees’ stewardship program and honor two people instrumental in winning a judgment of $26 million in the landmark United States v. Mitchell, 463 U.S. 203 (1983), a frequently cited case establishing that the United States must pay money damages when it breaches its trust to Indians.

The two scholarships are the Helen Sanders Scholarship, awarded to undergraduate students entering Lewis & Clark College, and the Nelson D. (“Dee”) Terry Scholarship, awarded to incoming law students. Both scholarships support ethnic minority students with preference for students of Native American descent. This year’s Quinault scholarship recipients are Katie Gargan and Nicholas Sanchez.

Dee Terry was a forester for the Quinault Allottees Committee and an expert witness for the Quinault Allottees Association and their attorneys. Dee Terry, Helen (Mitchell) Sanders, Janet Terry, and a few other key people, worked on the study that provided facts necessary for the winning U.S. Supreme Court case and its judgment. “My dad,” says Maggie Vandehey, one of Dee’s daughters, “simply loved trees. He was happiest when in the woods or camping or when storytelling.”

The Quinault Allottees Association also transferred its landmark U.S. Supreme Court case files and organizational records to Lewis & Clark College, Aubrey R. Watzek Library, for research. The assembled papers include the plaintiff’s legal papers for the U.S. Supreme Court Case, Helen Mitchell v. U.S., in which the allotted land owners sued the federal government for mismanagement of reservation timberlands. See OLPb024MIT and Lewis & Clark College, Special Collections and Archives. Dee Terry’s personal documents are in Box 1. For more information, see: