During the past year the Tribe has had the honor
to have Tleena Ree Ives, S'Klallam
Tribal member serve as Miss Indian USA. She has set a fine example
to the youth throughout the nation.
The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe is a federally recognized
Tribal Government organized under §16, Indian Reorganization
Act of 1934 (25 U.S.C. 476, 48 Stat. 984). The S'Klallam Tribe
is a signatory to the Point No Point Treaty of 1855 with the United
States Government and retains all rights not ceded in that treaty
("Reserved Rights Doctrine" U.S. v. Winans, 198 U.S.
371 (1905)). The Tribe is governed by a Constitution and By-Laws
and a comprehensive series of code laws covering a full range
of procedural and substantive areas including: criminal and traffic
violations, family protection (dependent children, guardianship,
adoption and domestic violence), housing, fishing, hunting, land
use, civil matters, etc.
The Port Gamble S'Klallam Reservation consists of
1340 acres of Federal Trust land. There is no private land ownership
on the reservation. As federal trust land, the reservation is
subject to applicable federal laws and regulations and tribal
The State of Washington asserts jurisdiction on the Port Gamble S'Klallam Reservation only with regard to: compulsory school attendance, public assistance, domestic relations, mental illness, juvenile delinquency, adoptions, dependent children, and operation of motor vehicles on public roads (RCW 37.12). The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe exercises concurrent jurisdiction and primary control over each of these areas.
Today the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe operates as
one of thirty Self-Governance Tribes in the United States, striving
to reclaim control over their sovereign rights and to lead their
people into the 21st century.
Approximately 1000 acres of our land is in forestry
with the remaining area in residential, office. The reservation
receives approximately 20 inches of rain per year due to its location
in the Olympic Mountain rain shadow. The reservation lands rise
about 400' from sea level with 20'-40' beach cliffs and gently
Port Gamble Bay is the last bay in Kitsap County
that is still open for commercial shellfish harvest although this
is considered a precarious state due to adjoining failing septic
systems, increased development within the watershed, and negligent
hobby farm practices.
Three streams flow through or originate on the reservation
and each has historically supported a local salmon run. The Tribe
has a hatchery on Middle Creek. Bear and deer also live on the
POPULATION & EMPLOYMENT
There are 837 enrolled Tribal members of which 380
reside on the reservation. The majority of off reservation members
reside in Kitsap County and the Puget Sound area. Major employers
for tribal members are: Tribal Government, associated agencies
of the Tribal Government, individual treaty fishing enterprises,
and local area businesses.
Tribal administrative offices, including tribal police,
fire, health administration services, health and dental clinics,
community church, headstart facility, senior center, county library,
Tribal smokeshop, courts, fisheries, an inter-tribal treaty agency
office and Tribal Community Council Offices are located on the
reservation. The Tribe also has recreation facilities consisting
of two neighborhood miniparks, two picnic area, two baseball fields,
a full court gym, and two boat ramps.
The Tribe also has recreation facilities consisting
of: neighborhood mini-parks, two picnic areas, two baseball fields,
a full court gym, two boat ramps.
ENTERPRISES & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
The Tribe operates an active aquaculture program
including a salmon hatchery, oyster culturing, herring roe-on-kelp
for local markets and for export to Japan, and kelp culturing
for enhancement and the passive herring roe-on-kelp fishery. Economic
development goals include: expansion of our fishing operations
and other gaming, mini-storage activities like office and commercials
HISTORY & CULTURE
Long ago, before people from Europe came to the shores
of what is now Washington State, the S'Klallam people lived here
between the Pacific Ocean and the inland waters of Puget Sound.
There were many small groups or bands of S'Klallam people who
lived in villages near the rivers, ocean or bays. Today there
are three S'Klallam bands: the Lower Elwha band, the Port Gamble
band and the Jamestown band. We are all members of the S'Klallam
Tribe as it was long ago.
S'Klallam is the name our neighbors gave us in the
beginning. It means "strong and clever people." To be
strong we had to be a healthy people, and to be healthy we had
to be clever in knowing and using the life-giving food and plants
around us. How did the S'Klallam people of long ago know of these
things? Our knowledge came to certain ones as a gift of the spirit.
Then these people helped others. As the years went by, people
learned how to care for themselves and each other, and this knowledge
was preserved, and added to, from one generation to another. We
did not write these things down; we taught our children and they
taught their children.
Because of their geographical location, the S'Klallam
people invested a great deal of their time in fishing. Since their
territory comprised most of the northern Olympic Peninsula, they
had access to a large number of rivers as well as the open waters
of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. They also made seasonal migrations
north to the San Juan Island area, where they set up temporary
fishing camps, and south to Hood Canal where they shared fishing
sites with the Skokomish. The waters within these areas produced
countless numbers and varieties of fish, most, if not all of which
the S'Klallam utilized. The most important of these was the salmon
since it constituted the principal food of the diet. Common among
the other varieties of fish they caught were halibut, herring,
ling cod, smelt, dogfish (a species of shark), and candlefish.
Some of these fish appeared only seasonally, but the S'Klallam
had ways of catching and preserving them and so they always had
a supply of those particular types of meat at their disposal whenever
they wanted a change of diet.
Although the S'Klallam women did a great deal of
cloth weaving from many materials, such apparel was generally
reserved for special occasions. The everyday clothing of the people
was manufactured from the inner bark fiber of the cedar tree.
Some people today remark that such clothing must have been very
uncomfortable. Yet, the women had a way of processing the bark
fiber so that the finished product was very soft and flexible.