June 22, 2023
Salmon and the Muckleshoot Tribe have always had a beautifully intertwined and spiritual relationship. See how they rely on each other for survival in this story.
Salmon have always been central to the physical and spiritual lives of the Muckleshoot. Though the people and the fish have been pushed to the brink — we rely on each other to survive. Salmon fishing is a way of life for the Muckleshoot Tribe, and we honor the Salmon by taking care of their habitat, taking care of the waterways and the land. We see ourselves as stewards of the land, not owners.
Our people have always depended on rivers, forests, and seas. We hunted the land and fished the waterways for salmon, which is our life’s blood. The Muckleshoot Tribe has full-time biologists to help manage wildlife and all our natural resources, and provides funding for salmon hatcheries and rearing facilities. We give back to the land before we take from it, so it will always be there for our future.
Through their treaties, Tribes have reserved the right to fish at all traditional fishing places. This includes the right to meet subsistence, ceremonial, and commercial needs. Moreover, management responsibilities for various fishing resources are also reserved.
Today, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe takes its place alongside other treaty Tribes as a co-manager of the state’s fishery resources.
The Medicine Creek and Point Elliott Treaties reserved the right to hunt on open and unclaimed lands. These hunting rights include the right to manage hunting and wildlife resources with the state.
The right to gather plants and foods on open and unclaimed lands comprises a third element of the Muckleshoot Tribe’s reserved off-reservation treaty rights. For Native peoples, the continued ability to practice their religion and maintain their cultural identity includes the ability to access medicinal plants. Gathering traditional foods, such as roots and berries, remains equally important.
Injustice, desolation, perseverance, and reclamation punctuates our story, which continues today with a renewed sense of hope and prosperity for our future. Scroll through our interactive timeline for a comprehensive history of the Muckleshoot Tribe's inception following settler contact nearly 200 years ago.