Fisher, Herbert Clyde: Hoh hereditary chief 12-27-06

Seattle, Washington (AP)

A hereditary chief of the Hoh Tribe passed away December 27 of injuries suffered in a weekend traffic accident on the Olympic Peninsula, the Washington State Patrol reported.

Herbert Clyde Fisher Jr., 52, of Forks, passed away at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was brought after the collision Dec. 23 on U.S. Highway 101.

Fisher also was known as Chief Klia of the Hoh Tribe, one of the smallest tribes in the Northwest with just 170 members.

The driver of the other vehicle – Phillip E. Roderick, 69, of Olympia – was also airlifted to Harborview.

Fisher was southbound in a 1994 Ford Explorer when his vehicle crossed the centerline and struck Roderick’s 2003 Cadillac Escalade head-on, the patrol said.

A passenger in Fisher’s car was treated for injuries at a Forks hospital and released.

Fisher served on the Hoh Tribal Council for many years and presided at numerous tribal events, including an August 2002 potlatch during the Tribal Paddle Journey, when as many as 45 tribal canoes visited the Hoh Reservation.

Fisher’s sister, Mary Leitka, told the Peninsula Daily News of Port Angeles that Fisher loved to carve canoes and was part of the Hoh Tribe’s first Tribal Paddle Journey canoe in 1997.

During this year’s canoe journey to the Muckleshoot Tribe’s Reservation in Auburn, Fisher taught people of the Cowlitz Tribe how to handle a canoe because it was their first journey, she said.

“Then he paddled with them from the Hoh Reservation all the way to the Muckleshoot Reservation in Auburn. I’m proud of him for doing that,” she said.

Fisher also was involved in health education and health fairs for the tribe, Leitka said.