Tulalip Tribes Who We Are header image

Who We Are

The Tulalip Tribes is a federally-recognized Indian tribe located on the Tulalip Reservation in the mid-Puget Sound area bordered on the east by Interstate 5 and the city of Marysville, Washington; on the south by the Snohomish River; on the north by the Fire Trail Road (140th); and on the west by the waters of Puget Sound. The Tulalip Reservation exterior boundaries enclose a land-base of 22,000 acres, more than 50 percent of which is in federal trust status. The Reservation is rich with natural resources: marine waters, tidelands, fresh water creeks and lakes, wetlands, forests and developable land. The Tulalip Reservation was reserved for the use and benefit of Indian tribes and bands signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliott of January 22, 1855. Its boundaries were established by the 1855 Treaty and by Executive Order of President U.S. Grant dated December 23, 1873. It was created to provide a permanent home for the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Suiattle, Samish and Stillaguamish Tribes and allied bands living in the region.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Tulalip is a place where the government set up a reservation for the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied tribes and bands signatory to the Treaty of Point Elliott. We are one of the Coast Salish Tribes of Puget Sound.
  • The Salish word for Tulalip is dxʷlilap, which means "small-mouthed bay" and refers to the nearly landlocked nature of the cove. History books credit Captain Vancouver with discovering Tulalip Bay in 1794, almost by accident when his ship "Discovery" ran aground on a sand bar. According to his own journals on June 4, 1792 when he came ashore he found these first settlers "...helpful and non-threatening."
  • We are located 30 miles north of Seattle right off of I-5, and west of Marysville, Washington. Link to Google map
  • We observe the following customs:

    • Treaty Days: Usually in January and everyone gets together to celebrate the signing of the 1-22-1855 Point Elliott Treaty. There is spiritual dancing and a feast, and it usually lasts until early the next morning.

    • Salmon Ceremony: This is in summer when we bless the fishermen before the fishing season begins. This is a ceremony and a feast.

    • Winter Dancing: All tribes get together and have a dinner, and then the spiritual dancers dance.

    • Veteran's Pow wow: First weekend in June, summer fancy dance and traditional dance pow wow, honors the veterans.

    • Funeral: When someone passes away, after the funeral there is a dinner for that person and a give away to thank the people who helped with the funeral and also during the person's lifetime.

    • Spiritual Work: If someone needs spiritual help, we will get an Indian Doctor to help them.
  • Nowadays we live in modern houses, but in the old days we had both gable roof and shed roof houses.

    The gable roof house is more like our longhouse here at Tulalip. It was for the wealthy and the shed roof was for the common people. We now only use the longhouse for our ceremonies - we do not live there.

    We still have a longhouse at Tulalip Bay that we use for our ceremonies. The current longhouse was built by: Lawrence Williams, Tom Reeves, Herman Williams, Sr., Francis Sheldon, Bernard Gobin, Ralph Jones, Clyde Williams, Sr., Myron Fryberg, Sr., Leroy Fryberg, Sr. and Arley Williams, all tribal members. They were assisted by Marvin Turk who donated his bulldozer and time to lift the poles into place, and PUD who dug the holes for the poles. Ace Wester consulted for the roof.

    In the old days the Indian people lived in longhouses, but during warm weather the Coastal Salish tribes of Puget Sound followed the game and fish runs erecting temporary encampments that could be moved quickly. They made these temporary house out of cattail or tulle mats.
  • Our ancestors traveled by canoe, and these canoes were built by hand out of cedar. The big sister canoe was carved by Jerry Jones, Master Carver and Joe Gobin. The little sister was carved by Jerry Jones. This canoe has gone on the Canoe Journey to other reservations and nations in Canada.
  • Our language is Lushootseed - Coastal Salish. Lushootseed is a member of the Salish language family, whose approximately twenty surviving languages are spoken from northern Oregon to central British Columbia, and from the Pacific coast eastward into Montana and along the British Columbia-Alberta border.The Lushootseed-speaking region extends along the shores of Puget Sound from modern-day Olympia to the Skagit watershed and from Hood Canal to the Cascades. The term “Northern“ refers to the language as spoken by the Skagit, Swinomish, Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish, and neighboring peoples; “Southern Lushootseed,” is that spoken by the peoples of Snoqualmie, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Nisqually, Squaxin Island, Suquamish, and their neighbors. The Snohomish Lushootseed spoken at Tulalip has features of both the Northern and Southern languages, though it is usually categorized as “Northern.”

    The Tulalip Tribes Lushootseed Department is dedicated to increasing awareness of Lushootseed within the community and beyond, as well as to restoring the language to everyday use within the community. They go into our schools to help teach the children Lushootseed. They also offer college level courses for adults. You can visit the Lushootseed Language home page here.


Information

Address:
6406 Marine Drive
Tulalip, WA 98271
(Driving Directions)

Main Line:
360-716-4000

Toll Free:
1-800-869-8287

Hours:
Monday to Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM