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Washington Tribes

Gov. Jay Inslee signs three key environmental bills, including the Climate Commitment Act, May 17 at Shoreline Community College.
Office of the Governor

Anger lingers among tribal leaders in Washington after a surprise veto from Gov. Jay Inslee last month. As he signed the cap and trade Climate Commitment Act, the governor struck down new powers for tribes.

'Most important Indian' Hank Adams dies in Olympia

Dec 24, 2020
In this May 5, 1973, photo Hank Adams, right, permanent representative of the Indians Trial of Broken Treaties presents letter from the White House to traditional Sioux Chief Frank Fools Crow, left, at border of Pine Ridge Reservation in Scenic,. S.D.
The Associated Press file

Hank Adams, one of Indian Country's most prolific thinkers and strategists, has died at age 77. Adams was called the "most important Indian" by influential Native American rights advocate and author Vine Deloria Jr., because he was involved with nearly every major event in American Indian history from the 1960s forward.

 screenshot of the 2020 Census Canoe Race, which has Washington Tribes competing to see who can get the highest count.
Courtesy of Pyramid Communications

Tribal communities in Washington are stepping up efforts to make sure they’re accurately counted in the 2020 U.S. Census. Tribes are historically the most undercounted group. The reasons range from a legacy of mistrust in government to the technicalities of how data was collected in the past, before self-reporting was an option; officials tallying based on visual evaluations often overlooked Native Americans.

In this April 30, 2020, photo, a sign reads "Stop COVID-19 Coronavirus together" at the new Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.. The casino is owned by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and has not yet announced a reopening date.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

As the Stillaguamish Tribe reopens its Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington on Wednesday afternoon, it becomes the first Western Washington tribe to do so since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Twenty-two tribes operate 29 casinos on their lands throughout the state.

As sovereign nations, tribes are not subject to the stay-at-home orders from Gov. Jay Inslee. They also depend on income from gaming to directly fund many essential government services.

Larry Workman / Quinault Tribe

Rising sea levels caused by global warming hit coastal communities the hardest. In Washington, many of those communities are tribes that settled near the water long before climate change became an issue. A new bill moving through Congress aims to provide them with more relief.  

Ted S. Warren / file / AP Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in what many observers are calling a historic showdown that will determine who has to pay to fix our "roads" for salmon – and how quickly.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo/file

The Puyallup Tribe says it will not go along with plans to put a liquified natural gas facility on a site at the Port of Tacoma. The site is located on land that lies sandwiched between parcels on its reservation.  

The tribe says its biggest concern is that its reservation lies in an urban area. And the heart of that is the Port of Tacoma.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will hold public meetings the week October 12 in Richland, Washington, about opening Rattlesnake Mountain to the public.