The Snohomish Tribe of Indians were here to greet the boats when Europeans first sailed into Puget Sound.
We fueled the fur trade of the early British colonists.
We welcomed the American settler and bureaucrat.
We signed the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855.
We ceded our land in good faith yet have long been denied our rightful reservation.
Landless and unrecognized, we became the loggers and farmers, the dairymen and carpenters, teachers and mariners, servicemen and laborers who built the State of Washington. Men and women of the Snohomish Tribe of Indians have been active and essential participants in the growth, development and economy of western Washington for 200 years of written history and uncounted centuries before.
The Snohomish Tribe of Indians seeks recognition or reacknowledgement by the United States government of our sovereign status as signers of the Treaty of Point Elliot on January 22, 1855. We seek restoration of the trust responsibility and all other treaties, statutes or regulations applicable to the other aboriginal peoples that were party to the Point Elliott Treat. We want the contract honored that was signed by our grandfathers, Wats-ka-lah-tchie, Snah-talc, S'Sleht-soolt, Ns'Ski-oos, S'Hoolst-hoot, Sah-an-hu and many more, honored ancestors. The Snohomish Tribe of Indians are the sole successor-in-interest* to the Snohomish who signed the Treaty of Point Elliott, January 22, 1855 [12th STAT.927](*I.C.C. Docket 125 1959).
Snah-Talc was the Head Chief of the Snohomish Tribe of Indians from 1855 until his death in 1874. He witnessed Vancouver's arrival in Puget Sound and signed the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855.
Two years after the signing, the treaty had still not been ratified. War broke out in the meantime. 1700 Native people were forced by the U.S. military to move to Snah-Talc's village at Cultus Bay on Whidbey Island. They were not allowed to hunt or gather food. Their firearms were taken from them. Many died of starvation and disease, especially the children and old people. Dissention grew and people began to blame their leaders - the treaty signers. Snah-Talc's two sons, He-Uch-Ka-Nam (George) and Tse-Nah-Talc (Joseph) were murdered in 1857. They had both signed the treaty. Snah-Talc sought shelter with relatives. He died in 1874, nearly twenty years after signing the treaty, without seeing the contract fulfilled by the United States. His relatives and people are still seeking federal recognition today.
We were denied our reservation, as promised in Article II, in the amont of two sections of land or 1280 acres on Kwilt-seh-da (Snohomish Bay) and the creeks emptying into it. Most of our 1600+ members have never lived on a reservation but continue an active tribal interaction and council government focusing on political, social and cultural preservation without the assistance of our trustee, the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Since being forced into an administrative procedure for restoration of our treaty status in 1974, we Snohomish have submitted petitions, addendums and thousands of substantiating docments to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Like Chief Snah-Talc, we wait on the United States government to fulfill the signed Treaty of Point Elliott.