Squaxin Island Tribe

Last updated
Squaxin Island Indian Reservation
South view of the Squaxin Island Administration Building in front of the Reflecting Pond.
Squaxin flag.png
People of the Water
USA Washington location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Squaxin Island Tribe
Location in Washington State
Coordinates: 47°12′N122°55′W / 47.200°N 122.917°W / 47.200; -122.917 Coordinates: 47°12′N122°55′W / 47.200°N 122.917°W / 47.200; -122.917
CountryUnited States
State Washington
County Mason
NegotiatedDecember 26, 1854
  Type Tribal Council
   Chairman Kris Peters
  Vice ChairmanCharlene Krise
   Secretary Jeremie Walls
   Treasurer Vicki Kruger
   Council Bev Hawks
Dave Whitener
Vince Henry
207 ft (63 m)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific (PST))
  Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 360
Website www.squaxinisland.org

The Squaxin Island Indian Reservation is a Native American tribal government in western Washington state in the United States. The Squaxin Island Tribe is made up of several Lushootseed clans living along several inlets of southern Puget Sound:


The Squaxin Island people originally spoke the Lushootseed language. They were forced onto their reservation in modern-day Mason County, Washington, in 1855. The Squaxin Island Tribe was one of the first Native American tribes in the U.S. to enter into the Self Governance Demonstration Project with the federal government.

The reservation is in southeastern Mason County, Washington. Most of the main reservation is composed of Squaxin Island, but there is also a small part of 26.13 acres (105,700 m2) at Kamilche, in addition to two parcels of off-reservation trust land near Kamilche, as well as a plot of 6.03 acres (24,400 m2) across Pickering Passage from Squaxin Island and a plot of 35.93 acres (145,400 m2) on Harstine Island, across Peale Passage. The total land area including off-reservation trust lands is 6.942 km² (2.68 sq mi, or 1,715.46 acres). Of the total resident population of 405 persons (2000 census), 383 lived in off-reservation trust land to the southeast of Kamilche, and 22 lived on Harstine Island, while the bulk of the reservation's territory, Squaxin Island, was unpopulated.


The Home of Sacred Belongings - Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center SquaxinIslandMuseum.jpg
The Home of Sacred Belongings - Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center

Squaxin Island Tribe had a Squaxin Island Museum, Library and Research Center as early as 2007. [1] The Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center was built circa 2002. [2] The 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) building, designed by a Seattle architecture firm, is shaped to resemble Thunderbird in profile. [3] The property the museum and cultural center stands on was gifted to the tribe by the Taylor family of nearby Taylor Shellfish. [4]

Paddle to Squaxin Island 2012

Canoes arriving in Olympia during the paddle to Squaxin 2012 event. Tribal Canoe Journeys - Paddle to Squaxin 2012.JPG
Canoes arriving in Olympia during the paddle to Squaxin 2012 event.

The Tribal Journeys began in 1989, intending to coincide with the centennial celebration for Washington State. A total of 9 canoes participated in the "Paddle to Seattle" journey, and in 1993, 23 canoes participated in the "Paddle to Bella Bella". Since 1993, "Tribal Journeys" or "The Paddle" has been held annually, with various tribes serving as the host tribe. A total of 102 canoes landed for the "Paddle to Squaxin Island" journey.

An estimated 40,000 people attended or visited the "Paddle to Squaxin Island" journey, hosted by the Squaxin Museum and The Evergreen State College, and funded by a National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" grant. [5] Protocol and Dining were held in an old baseball field. The quiet community was loud for a whole week. Months before the event, major construction was done. Many parking lots were made, a campground was built and a Reflecting Pond was put in the Tribal Government Campus.

Tribes from around the country and world attended the event, such as New Zealand, Canada, Alaska, etc.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

Chief Seattle Suquamish and Duwamish chief (1786–1866)

Chief Seattle was a Suquamish and Duwamish chief. A leading figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with "Doc" Maynard. The city of Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington, was named after him. A widely publicized speech arguing in favor of ecological responsibility and respect of Native Americans' land rights had been attributed to him; however what he actually said has been lost through translation and rewriting.

Duwamish River

The Duwamish River is the name of the lower 12 miles (19 km) of Washington state's Green River. Its industrialized estuary is known as the Duwamish Waterway.

Nisqually people

The Nisqually is a Lushootseed-speaking Native American tribe in western Washington state in the United States. They are a Southern Coast Salish people. They are federally recognized as the Nisqually Indian Tribe, formerly known as the Nisqually Indian Tribe of the Nisqually Reservation and the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation.


The Quileute, also known as the Quillayute, are a Native American people in western Washington state in the United States, currently numbering approximately 2,000. They are a federally recognized tribe, Quileute Tribe of the Quileute Reservation


The Tulalip Tribes of Washington, formerly known as the Tulalip Tribes of the Tulalip Reservation, is a federally recognized tribe of Duwamish, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Suiattle, Samish, and Stillaguamish people. They are South and Central Coast Salish peoples of indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Their tribes are located in the mid-Puget Sound region of Washington.


The Suquamish are a Lushootseed-speaking Native American people, located in present-day Washington in the United States. They are a southern Coast Salish people. Today, most Suquamish people are enrolled in the federally recognized Suquamish Tribe, a signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. Chief Seattle, the famous leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Tribes for which the City of Seattle is named, signed the Point Elliot Treaty on behalf of both Tribes. The Suquamish Tribe owns the Port Madison Indian Reservation.

Duwamish people

The Duwamish are a Lushootseed-speaking Native American tribe in western Washington, and the indigenous people of metropolitan Seattle, where they have been living since the end of the last glacial period. The Duwamish tribe descends from at least two distinct groups from before intense contact with people of European ancestry—the People of the Inside and the People of the Large Lake —and continues to evolve both culturally and ethnically. By historic language, the Duwamish are (Skagit-Nisqually) Lushootseed; Lushootseed is a Salishan language. Adjacent tribes throughout the Puget Sound-Strait of Georgia basin were, and are, interconnected and interrelated, yet distinct. Today, some Duwamish people are enrolled in the federally recognized Tulalip Tribes of Washington.

Sauk-Suiattle, or Sah-Ku-Me-Hu, is a federally recognized Native American tribe in western Washington state in the United States. The tribe historically lived along the banks of the Sauk, Suiattle, Cascade, Stillaguamish, and Skagit rivers, in the area known as Sauk Prairie at the foot of Whitehorse Mountain in the North Cascade Range.


The Lummi, governed by the Lummi Nation, are a Native American tribe of the Coast Salish ethnolinguistic group in the Pacific Northwest region of Washington state in the United States. The federally recognized tribe primarily resides on and around the Lummi Indian Reservation to the west of Bellingham in western Whatcom County, 20 miles (32 km) south of the border with Canada.


The SwinomishSWIN-ə-mish are an historically Lushootseed-speaking Native American people in western Washington state in the United States. The Tribe lives in the southeastern part of Fidalgo Island in northern Puget Sound, near the San Juan Islands, in Skagit County, Washington. Skagit County is located about 70 miles (110 km) north of Seattle.

Lushootseed is a language made up of a dialect continuum of several Salish tribes of modern-day Washington state. Lushootseed is one of the Coast Salish languages. The latter is one of two main divisions of the Salishan language family.

Whulshootseed, also called Twulshootseed, was a Native American language in Washington, which was spoken by the Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Suquamish, Duwamish, Nisqually, and Squaxin Island tribes. Whulshootseed is a southern dialect of Lushootseed, which is part of the Coast Salish language group. The last native speaker was Ellen Williams, born 1923.

Port Madison Indian Reservation

The Port Madison Native Reservation is an Indian reservation in the U.S. state of Washington belonging to the Suquamish Tribe, a federally recognized indigenous nation and signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliott of 1855.

Squaxin Island is in the extreme southwestern part of Puget Sound in Mason County, Washington, United States. The island is an Indian reservation of the Native American Squaxin Island Tribe. It once contained a Washington State Park by the same name, which has since been closed, and the land returned to the Squaxin Tribe. The island's land area is 5.739 km2 (2.216 sq mi). There was no resident population as of the 2000 census.

Tribal Canoe Journeys

Tribal Canoe Journeys is a celebrated event for the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Indigenous Nations from the coast of Alaska, British Columbia, Oregon and Washington state participate every year. Canoe families travel in ocean-going canoes – many made of cedar, others made using more modern techniques and materials – and visit Native Nations en route to the final host destination.

The Lower Skagit are a tribe of the Lushootseed Native American people living in the U.S. state of Washington. Today they are enrolled in the federally recognized tribe, the Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish Reservation.

The Suquamish Museum preserves and displays relics and records related to the Suquamish Tribe, including artifacts from the Old Man House and the Baba'kwob site. It is located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in Washington state and was founded in 1983. The museum currently occupies a facility opened in 2012.

Samish Indian Nation

The Samish Indian Nation is a Coast Salish nation and a signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliott of 1855. Samish has a government-to-government relationship with the United States of America. The Samish are a Northern Straits branch of Central Coast Salish peoples. The Samish Nation is headquartered in Anacortes, Fidalgo Island, in Washington, north of Puget Sound.

Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish Reservation of Washington federally recognized Tribe

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, also known as the Swinomish Tribe, is a federally recognized Tribe located on Puget Sound in Washington. They are an Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest that includes the Central and Coast Salish peoples who lived in the Samish and Skagit River valleys, nearby coasts, and islands. The Tribe's population includes Swinomish, Lower Skagit, Upper Skagit, Kikiallus, and Samish peoples.

Elevation (cannabis shop) Store in Kamilche, Washington

Elevation is a cannabis shop on the Squaxin Island Tribe trust lands at Kamilche, Washington, across Washington State Route 108 from the tribe's Little Creek Casino. It became the first tribally operated cannabis shop in the United States in November 2015.


  1. Parker, Ann (September 2007), "New Native Art Dedicated at TESC Longhouse" (PDF), sgwigwial?tx: News from the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center, Olympia, Washington: The Evergreen State College, p. 3
  2. Wray, Jacilee, ed. (2013), Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are, University of Oklahoma Press, p. 96, ISBN   9780806189963
  3. Squaxin Library & Museum, Schacht Aslani Architects
  4. "Modest shellfish mogul, environmental pioneer; Justin Taylor, 1921-2011; Obituary", The Seattle Times, February 23, 2011
  5. Our Town grant: Olympia, WA: Canoe journey, National Endowment for the Arts, c. 2012, retrieved 2015-04-26