For the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, Snoqualmie Falls and the surrounding area is home to the spirit of our people. It’s our birthplace of creation, the center of our people and where Snoqualmie and other tribal ancestors have been buried for hundreds of generations. This area was given to the people to take care of and to gain nourishment from, both physical and spiritual.
For indigenous peoples, there is no separation of self and sacred lands. We are tied to these areas and when threatened, we acknowledge it is our duty to protect and advocate for them, to be their voice. It’s a part of us. That is why we are thrilled and honored to announce that the Muckleshoot Tribe is selling this land to the Snoqualmie Tribe so that we may continue our work to protect traditional and sacred lands.
Snoqualmie Falls is for all people, for all time. This area is recognized as sacred by tribes throughout the region. Snoqualmie Falls and its surrounding lands have been a central place for meeting and gathering of people since time immemorial. The native peoples of this region came, and continue to come to Snoqualmie Falls for guidance, power, prayers and healing. To this day, Snoqualmie Falls and its surrounding lands are a place of meeting and joining of worlds, with an estimated 2 million visitors annually.
Snoqualmie Falls has inspired awe and wonder among all visitors for generations. When people visit this sacred site, they are replenished through the unending connection between worlds.
Efforts have been made for generations to erase native people and our sacred sites, but we still find our strength from one another, our ancestors and our many relatives through our sacred lands. We have always been here and will continue to thrive as will our sacred lands through advocacy and actions. We are honored and excited to have the opportunity to invest in line with our tribal values and own our sacred lands and to be able to protect this area in perpetuity.
With this historic agreement, we will have the legal ability to strengthen our stewardship of the falls and surrounding land. This purchase is a way for us to reclaim our land and protect it from any future development, including discontinuing the planned 175 homes and convention center development on this sacred site. Snoqualmie Falls is central to the history, culture, spiritual practice and identity of the Snoqualmie people as well as the greater region, and its preservation is of the highest importance to us. The Snoqualmie Tribe recognizes the sacrifices made by our ancestors to protect and preserve this place. We are proud to continue this duty.
This purchase is also happening in conjunction with our Tribe’s 20th anniversary of federal re-recognition in 1999. The Snoqualmie Tribe petitioned the federal government for decades to receive this recognition, and we are proud to celebrate such a milestone in our tribe’s history alongside this exciting new accomplishment. It is an honor to celebrate re-recognition with the knowledge that we are continuing the work to reclaim our traditional and sacred lands and preserve our most sacred and beloved site.
Protecting Snoqualmie Falls and the adjacent land adds value to the broader community. The reason the Snoqualmie Valley is a destination spot isn’t because of box stores or strip malls, it is because of the falls and the beautiful surrounding lands. Snoqualmie Falls is a beloved site that people not only in Washington but across the world care deeply about. Through preserving this site, we are also ensuring that our local neighbor businesses continue to have access to the tourism market and that our community’s economy remains strong. There’s no doubt that Salish Lodge & Spa is an important part of the Snoqualmie Valley community, and we are committed to maintaining its excellence while continuing to enhance the guest experience. .
We are honored to be able to continue to preserve this land for spiritual, cultural and economic purposes, and we look forward to continuing the rich heritage of this land as we move toward an exciting new chapter of our Snoqualmie Tribe’s history.