Community Impact

Snoqualmie Tribe Land Recovery Success Story

Land Acquired by The Snoqualmie Tribe with FallsThe Snoqualmie, one of many tribes that make up the larger group of Coast Salish peoples, have lived in the Puget Sound area of Pacific Northwest for thousands of years. Snoqualmie Falls, now a popular tourist attraction, has always been at the center of the Tribe’s spiritual traditions and is regarded by the Tribe as its birthplace.

In 1855, along with other Coast Salish tribes, the Snoqualmie signed the Point Elliot Treaty, ceding its lands to the U.S. government with the promise that they would receive a reservation of their own. But that promise, like so many others, was never kept. Many Snoqualmie stayed in the area, but some moved away. In 1953, the Tribe suffered a major blow when it then lost federal recognition due to a new federal policy that limited recognition to tribes that had reservations. Finding themselves both landless and without the resources to support their tribal members, many of which were living in poverty, the Snoqualmie began the arduous process of rebuilding their nation and their land base.

In 1999, after 46 years of petitioning, the Snoqualmie received re-recognition based on the evidence that they had maintained a continuous community from historical times to the present. In March 2006, the Tribe received 55 acres for its initial reservation. They have since built a casino, the profits from which have allowed them to provide their 650 tribal members with basic services, improved housing conditions and new employment opportunities.

Hospital on acquired landIn 2007, Indian Land Capital Company made a loan to the Snoqualmie toward the purchase of 35 acres of land, which includes the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. At the time ILCC made the loan, the Tribe did not have the cash flow to make a full loan payment. ILCC was able to provide the Tribe with financing, below market rates, and with payments they could afford until their casino reached full operation. Now the Tribe continues to operate the hospital and has since improved its profitability. The additional land is used for community purposes and will eventually house new tribal offices.

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“The Indian Land Capital Company provided us with a loan that allowed us to begin to secure additional aboriginal land in the Snoqualmie Valley, ahead of speculators, prior to the Tribe generating any casino revenue, and in a manner that was respectful of tribal sovereignty. This is how financing in Indian Country should be done.”  
Matt Mattson, 
Tribal Administrator,
Snoqualmie Indian Tribe

 

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