Congratulations to Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe! They were the first Native tribe to receive Title IV-E status. They now have the right to manage their tribe’s adoption, foster care and guardianship programs!

Please sign our petition asking Obama to extend the same privileges to the Lakota tribes of South Dakota: lakotalaw.org/action . We need 5,000 more signatures this week to continue putting pressure on Washington DC.

“Managing our own Child Welfare Program allows us to be proactively involved in making sure our families get the help they need and children are not removed from their culture and community. Whenever possible, the goal is to preserve family relationships even if a child doesn’t live with his or her parents.” - Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Chairman Jeromy Sullivan.

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe also became the first Tribe to qualify for an IV-E waiver. This “allows the program to be more flexible with the definition of ‘family’ and more easily allocate funds toward intervention activities.”

Read the article here: http://www.kingstoncommunitynews.com/news/288622501.html

Fishing & Hunting, Weaving & Carving

Fishing has always been a major source of food for the Klallam; some of these fishy foods include spring, humpback, silver and two varieties of dog salmon, steelhead, halibut, ling cod, flounder, herring, smelts, and candlefish.

The last known native speaker of the Klallam language, which the U.S. government once sought to phase out before funding an effort to preserve it, died in Washington state on Tuesday at age 103, friends and tribal leaders said.

The death of Hazel Sampson, who was taught the Klallam language by her parents before learning English, marks the end of an era, said Ron Allen, chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Sampson died at a hospital in Port Angeles, Washington.

Klallam belongs to the Salish family of Native American languages, spoken in the Pacific Northwest and southwestern Canada.

"It’s the final chapter of one of our tribal citizens who grew up in the culture before we were exposed extensively to the non-Indian culture and language," Allen said. "We lost an elder who kept the culture and language of the S’Klallam people fresh in the younger generation."

Read more: http://reut.rs/1iz9ni7

The grounds themselves have spoken for us and defended us.

The ancestors stood up for us, and they still are. Even some of our own people today tell us that we didn’t do these things, that we didn’t have this culture. They say this because of what happened to our elders, how they were beaten and punished so they would never say those words and had to bury the culture so deep in their souls and try to forget about it. But the ground itself and the village were able to bring it out.


Frances Charles, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Chairwoman, “Foreward: Lessons from Tse-whit-zen,” in Lynda V. Mapes’ Breaking Ground: The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Unearthing of Tse-whit-zen Village (University of Washington Press, 2009).

In 2003, the state of Washington began a major construction project on the Port Angeles waterfront, and discovered one of the largest and oldest Indian village sites ever found in the region. As the project continued, workers uncovered and disturbed hundreds of burials, the ancestors of the Klallam people. Incredibly, after negotiations between tribal leaders and the Department of Transportation, the state agreed to stop all construction and walked away from over $90 million in public funds already invested in the project. 

The earliest confirmed settlement at Tse-whit-zen dates back to 750 B.C. — approximately the same time Rome was founded.


Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe supports bond for schools

Ron Allen, the chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe of Washington, shows support for a $49.2 million bond for school construction and upgrades:
    On Feb. 10, 2015, the Sequim community will vote on a $49.2 million school facility bond. Last year, the district requested a $154 million bond. The community said no; it was too much and needed to be a more realistic goal.