Sovereignty is a most valued asset to the people of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State. Though the concept of sovereignty is complex and undoubtedly open to interpretation, the principles of tribal sovereignty are very fundamentally solid. A sovereign nation exists either by means of divine allocation or federal government recognition. We believe these factors are mutually exclusive. Sovereignty entities are free from state imposed laws, and are only regulated by the federally imposed statutes.
On January 22, 1855, Washington State Governor Isaac Stevens and several local tribes of this region, signed the Point Elliot Treaty. As a result, the combined peoples became known as the Tulalip Tribes, a sovereign entity. With the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, The Tulalip Tribes expanded their tribal rights through the gaming industry. This standing has allowed for increasing growth and progress on many levels, and has subsequently opened many doors for the Tulalip people. The Tribes operates two large casinos, which in turn have helped fund a new health clinic, new departmental buildings, and myriad of new and expanded community programs.
Of more than 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States, the Tulalip Tribes has been the first and only to establish a federally recognized city. The Quil Ceda Village’s city status was a hard fought victory in the battle of tribal sovereignty and the recognition of inherent rights. By being a forerunner in the advancement of Native Americans’ rights, the Tulalip Tribes has set a precedent for native peoples everywhere.
By asserting their inalienable rights, The Tulalip Tribes have been able to increase their standing within the area, as well as support funding for several varied community projects. Profits made today, will be reinvested in expanding the potential of tomorrow’s youth. It is this mentality that will lead to a strong, prosperous native community for generations to come.