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Squaxin Island Tribe

Shelton, WA

The Squaxin Island Tribe is a Coast Salish Community whose ancestral territory includes the entire seven inlet/watersheds of South Puget Sound.

We envision a culturally and economically strong community of self-governing, resilient people united by shared values and traditions.

We are descendants of the maritime people who lived along the shores and watersheds of the seven southernmost inlets of Puget Sound for many thousands of years. Our culture is still very much connected to this aquatic environment.

Our ancestral lands were ceded to the United States government (by the Squaxin Island, Nisqually and Puyallup Tribes) in the 1854 Treaty of Medicine Creek included 4,000 square miles, or 2,560,000 acres, extending from the Cascades on the east to the Black Hills on the west, and from Mt. St. Helens to the Skookumchuck and Chehalis Rivers on the south and Wilke’s Portage Vashon Island and the divide between the Puyallup and White Rivers on the North. Three small reserves. 

Only one small island, four and a half miles long and a half mile wide was reserved as the main area for all of our people to live. The island was named after the people of Case Inlet and became known as Squaxin Island.

Our people gradually began to leave the island to take up permanent residence near their original homes. By 1862 the number of island residents had dwindled to 50. With so few tribal members remaining on the island, the Indian agency headquarters was moved to Puyallup. By 1959 only four-year-round residents continued to live on the island. Today there are none.

Although there are no year-round residents on Squaxin Island today, it is looked upon by our people as the bond that unites our past, present, and future generations. Squaxin Island is used for fishing, hunting, shellfish gathering, camping, and other activities. Only tribal members are allowed on the island, but permits can be obtained through the Tribe’s Natural Resources Department for tribal members to take friends on the island with them.

Our gaming entity Little Creek Casino Resort is located just 15 minutes north of Olympia on Highway 101. The resort has nearly 200 rooms, a variety of meeting rooms and a 40,000 square-foot event and entertainment center. The casino has over 750 slot machines and a variety of table games, bingo, keno and poker. The resort contains eight restaurants including the award-winning Squaxin Island Seafood bar. Salish Cliffs Golf Course is a national-ranked par-72 championship course designed for all skill levels.

Squaxin Island Tribe

10 SE Squaxin Lane

Shelton, WA 98584