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Swinomish Indian Tribal Communit y

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We raise our hands to you in welcome!


"Everything starts and ends with the land and the water. These are the Swinomish teachings and values passed down from generation to generation. We only need to listen, and we will hear their teachings." – Larry Campbell, Swinomish Elder

Alexis Bobb, daughter of James and Sandy Bobb. Photo by Kristi Williams.


The Stable Canoe We paddle our canoe in harmony and balance, this is our teaching.

The Swinomish people live in the skagit,

rooted along the Salish Sea. We are the People of the

Salmon and our way of life is sustained by our connection to the water and the lands where we have fished, gathered and hunted since time immemorial. We honor our ancestors representing four aboriginal bands: Swinomish, Samish, Lower Skagit and Kikiallus, who joined together to form the present day Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. Seven generations ago, in 1855, Swinomish Chiefs and eighty-one other tribal Chiefs gathered at M煤ckl-te贸h (present-day Mukilteo, Washington) to sign the Treaty of Point Elliott. Our ancestors committed to protecting a way of life passed down from generation to generation. The eleven elected members of the Swinomish Senate continue that commitment by strengthening our government so that we may protect our treaty, culture and collective well-being. As a sovereign nation, we engage in local, state and interstate commerce, manage our natural resources, and exercise power over our homelands and waters. We value collaboration with fellow tribal and non-tribal governments. Our partnerships spread throughout Washington state, the Pacific region and the nation. As a tribal community, we are proud and honored to play leadership roles through partnerships with the Association of Washington Tribes, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, the National Congress of American Indians, as well as other important institutions advocating for the rights of Native people. cover Photo by Spike Mafford. TOP Chairman Brian

Cladoosby, President Barack Obama, 2009. Photo courtesy of the White House. Middle Lone Tree: a traditional food gathering place for the Swinomish people. Photo by Spike Mafford. bottom Tribal Elders Mike Cladoosby and Kevin Day, following in the footsteps of their forefathers, fishing the Skagit River. Photo by Bridget Besaw.


A Prosperous Future

Building for future generations.

Swinomish invests in our children ,

who are the future; in the natural resources, which sustain

all that we do; and in successful economic development, which allows us to fulfill the hopes and dreams of our tribal citizens. We work hard to be successful, because our success ensures opportunities for tribal citizens to attain their education and prosper in the future. The strong foundation provided by our government, and the policies and programs they enact, allow us to provide important services for the Swinomish people as well as our neighbors, including: >> Health and social services , including dental and health care and childcare >> Education support from preschool through higher education >> Economic development investments that lead to employment and training opportunities that benefit the local and state economy >> Natural and cultural resource protection that builds a healthy community for future generations >> Community safety and planning that promotes sustainable community development >> Investments in and support of local organizations that strengthen the communities in which we live Swinomish is proud to be one of the largest employers in Skagit County. We bring jobs to the TOP Tribal member Stephanie Bailey and son.

Photo by Ann Smock. Middle top Swinomish Casino and Hotel. Photo by Spike Mafford. Middle bottom Swinomish crabbers and fishermen, Norval Charles, Jason Paul and Steve Edwards. Photo by Spike Mafford. bottom Diverse Economy: Swinomish Gas Station. Photo by Spike Mafford.

economy and contribute to local organizations and public schools. We are dedicated to helping grow the local and state economy while at the same time providing for our people.


“We are overcoming the broken cycles that have challenged and impacted our way of life. Our strength comes from the values and principles of cultural teachings that keep our spirit and mind balanced as we continue to walk in two worlds. We are committed to providing a prosperous future for generations to come." – Dianne Edwards, Swinomish citizen

Clarissa “Wray Wray” Wilken James. Photo by Ann Smock.


“We paddled the waters of the Skagit and the Salish Sea long before anyone applied names in English to the places we call home. To us, we live at the most beautiful place on the planet, and I give thanks to our Creator every day for the blessings bestowed on the Swinomish people by Mother Earth.� Brian Cladoosby, Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Skagit River. Photo by John Scurlock.


Stewards of the Skagit

People of the Salmon, People of Swinomish.

We, the Swinomish people ,

carry 10,000 years of knowledge about our ancestral lands and

waters. We combine our knowledge with contemporary science to care for and protect the natural environment on behalf of our people. In 1855, we reserved in our Treaty of Point Elliott the right to harvest salmon and shellfish in the Salish Sea, the Skagit River and other waters, and the right to hunt and gather on all open and unclaimed lands. Swinomish is committed to restoring and protecting not only the six wild runs of salmon in the Skagit, but all the resources in the Salish Sea region. A healthy habitat and clean and abundant water supply allow salmon to survive and return home. Swinomish believes the health of the Skagit is not only important for our people, but for all the people who call the Pacific Northwest home. As a community, we are committed to protecting, restoring and enhancing: >> Skagit River wild salmon >> Habitat necessary to sustain wild salmon >> The surface and ground water of the Skagit and surrounding watersheds >> The vast land and forests that make up the Skagit Region We work today so that our generations will grow ever stronger, and so we, the Swinomish people, will always be the People of the Salmon.

TOP Barbara James. Photo by Theresa Trebon. Middle Eagle. Photo by Debra Lekanof. bottom First co-owned and co-managed

Tirbal/State Park in the nation, Kukutali State Park. Photo by Spike Mafford.


The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community gathered these words from contemporary and historic interviews with Swinomish leaders and elders. The values expressed in words like family, responsibility, honor, trust, respect and honesty, combined with a generosity of spirit, help to frame the community’s outlook in relationship to itself and its neighbors.

Published January 2012. Copyright Š Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

Swinomish Indian Tribal Communit y 11404 Moorage Way, LaConner, WA 98257 | (360) 466-3163 | www.swinomish-nsn.gov

Images provided by the Swinomish Tribal Archive.


People of the Salmon