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The purpose and mission of the Swinomish Indian Tribe is to protect and enhance the quality of the lives of all of its members by providing a combination of economic opportunities and a safety net of social services; to protect the culture and traditional practices of the Swinomish people; to respect and protect the spirit of the ancestors that have gone before and the future generations to come; to exercise the powers of self-government secured by the Treaty of Point Elliott; to protect and preserve the Tribe's reservation homeland; to protect the Tribe's treaty rights both on and off of the Reservation; and to provide a safe and healthy environment for everyone living on and participating in the activities of the Swinomish.
Welcome Swinomish members, friends and neighbors, to the website of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. As Chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, I invite you to explore this site to learn more about our Tribe and Community.
The Swinomish Reservation is located on the southeastern end of Fidalgo Island a few miles east of the City of Anacortes and a few miles west of Mount Vernon in Skagit County. The Reservation is surrounded by 27 miles of salt water shoreline and is bounded on the west by Skagit Bay, on the east by Swinomish Channel and on the north by Padilla Bay. It's connected to the mainland by a 4-lane bridge and State Highway 20 on the north end of Swinomish Channel and by a 2-lane bridge on the south end. Tribal headquarters are located in the historic Swinomish Village on the southeast portion of the Reservation, across the Channel from the Town of LaConner.
The Reservation is about 15 square miles in size and includes 7,450 acres of upland and approximately 2,900 acres of tidelands. Today, the Tribe exercises jurisdictional authority over all lands within the Reservation boundaries, and provide governmental and other services to tribal members, non-member Indians and non-Indians, including 24 hour police protection, water and sewer service, and planning and permitting, education, housing, senior services, and medical and dental services.
The Reservation is home to a community of Coast Salish peoples that descended from tribes and bands that originally lived in the Skagit and Samish River Valleys, the coastal areas surrounding Skagit, Padilla and Fidalgo Bays and Saratoga Passage, and numerous islands, including Fidalgo, Camano, Whidbey and the San Juan Islands.
For thousands of years, these Coast Salish tribes maintained a culture centered around abundant salt water resources that included salmon, shellfish, and marine mammals, as well as upland resources such as cedar, camas, berries, and wild game.
We often say to our friends, Swinomish always has been and always will be a fishing tribe. Salmon is at the heart of the Swinomish cultural and ceremonial life. The ceremonial and subsistence harvests by tribal fishers support a thriving cultural life, sustains the elders and nurtures each new generation of our children.
If you have any questions about the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community that are not answered on our website http://www.swinomish-nsn.gov I invite you to contact our staff for more information. I thank you for your interest in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, and I thank our Creator for all the blessings bestowed upon each and every one of us.
-Brian "Spee~pots" Cladoosby, Chairman
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