This post is part of an ongoing series of blog posts that acknowledges the ancestral lands on which the National Archives’ buildings are situated. I share these land acknowledgements as a way to offer recognition and respect to the people who lived on these lands before us. Today’s post takes us to the National Archives and Records Administration’s facility in Seattle, Washington.
The National Archives in Seattle is situated on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish, Stillaguamish (“People of the River”), Duwamish (“the People of the Inside”), and Suquamish (“Place of the Clear Salt Water”) peoples.
The Suquamish and their ancestors have inhabited the Puget Sound area for thousands of years. Before European contact, the region was one of the most populated centers north of what is now Mexico City. Unlike the larger tribes of British Columbia, Alaska, the Plains and the Southwest, the Indians of the Puget Sound lived in relatively small, autonomous villages. Many tribes were affiliated through intermarriage, political agreement, trade, material culture and language (from the Suquamish Tribe’s website.)
Enter your address in this interactive map of Traditional Native Lands to see who once lived where you are now.
My thanks to Crystal Shurley, Archival Technician, the National Archives at Seattle, who provided research for this land acknowledgement.
- Coast Salish website.
- Website for the Stillaguamish tribe.
- History and maps of the Upper Skagit done in the format of a field study compiled and drawn mostly by June McCormick Collins in the 1940s.
- The brief history of the Puget Salish People of Washington also provides information about the Duwamish and Suquamish people.
- Historical village locations of the Suquamish people.
- Stand With The Duwamish To Restore Federal Recognition. Call to action to honor the Treaty of Point Elliott, 1855 which was signed by Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish people.
- A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest (3rd ed.). (1992). University of Oklahoma Press.
- U.S. Department Of Commerce. (1996). American Indian Reservations and Trust Areas. U.S. Department of Commerce.
- Visit the National Archive’s webpage: American Indian Records in the National Archives.
- Indigenous Digital Archive Treaties Explorer
The National Archives at Seattle has a number of finding aids related to Native People in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, that include the Coast Salish, Stillaguamish, Duwamish, and Suquamish people, that can be viewed by request. Please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about these finding aids.