Squaxin Island Tribe

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Squaxin Island Tribe
Indian Reservation
South view of the Squaxin Island Administration Building in front of the Reflecting Pond.
South view of the Squaxin Island Administration Building in front of the Reflecting Pond.
Flag of Squaxin Island Tribe
Nickname(s): People of the Water
Squaxin Island Tribe is located in Washington (state)
Squaxin Island Tribe
Squaxin Island Tribe
Location in Washington State
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Country United States
State Washington
County Mason
Negotiated December 26, 1854
 • Type Tribal Council
 • Chairman David Lopeman
 • Vice Chairman Arnold Cooper
 • Secretary Pete Kruger
 • Treasurer Andy Whitener
 • Council Whitney Jones
Jim Peters
Vince Henry
Elevation 207 ft (63.0936 m)
Population (2007)
 • Total 936
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98584
Area code(s) 360
Website squaxinisland.org

The Squaxin Island Tribe (also Squaxin, Squaxon) 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: the Noo-Seh-Chatl, Steh-Chass, Squi-Aitl, T'Peeksin, Sa-Heh-Wa-Mish, Squawksin, and S'Hotle-Ma-Mish. They live along several inlets of southern Puget Sound.

The Squaxin Island people speak the Lushootseed language. They moved 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.

Squaxin Island Indian Reservation

The Squaxin Island Indian 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.

Little Creek Casino Resort

Little Creek Casino Resort at Kamilche is owned and operated by the Squaxin Island Tribe. LCCR is a Northwest Native American themed Resort.


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]

Paddle to Squaxin Island 2012

File: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.[4] 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]


The Squaxin Police Department, or "Squaxin P.D." is a small tribal police enforcement that usually only stays on the reservation and Little Creek Casino Resort. From the 1970s to 2005, the Squaxin Police Station, Tribal Center, Gym, Research Center and Education Center used to share the same building in what is currently the Wellness Center (Gym and Pool). The "Squaxin Drug Task Force" is also enforced by Squaxin P.D.



  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<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Wray, Jacilee, ed. (2013), Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are, University of Oklahoma Press, p. 96, ISBN 9780806189963<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Squaxin Library & Museum, Schacht Aslani Architects<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Our Town grant: Olympia, WA: Canoe journey, National Endowment for the Arts, c. 2012, retrieved 2015-04-26<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links