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News from the Pacific Northwest

Samish Nation receives Property donation

ANACORTES, Wash. - Since regaining federal recognition in 1996, the Samish Indian Nation's efforts to acquire historically Samish land have been stymied by the cost and scarcity of land on heavily populated Fidalgo Island north of Seattle.

The Samish Nation, which has 900 enrolled members, acquired 80 acres above Campbell Lake and has plans to build homes there. Now, 11 acres of waterfront property have, in the words of a donor, "come full circle" back to the Samish.

The Edwards family has donated the land at Ship Harbor to the Samish Indian Nation; Samish has no immediate plans for the land and is in the process of having it appraised, the Anacortes American newspaper reported.

The transfer of land was recorded Aug. 15.

Dee Branson, Samish council treasurer, told the Anacortes American that the nation "appreciates the efforts of all the parties in acknowledging our historical and cultural presence in the area."

The Edwards family spent $2.5 million getting permits to build a marina on the property, the Anacortes American reported. The family hoped to sell the 11 acres for a destination resort and marina; however, attempts to find developers with financing for the project failed, the newspaper reported.

Tulalips, city pledge to work together

EVERETT, Wash. - The Tulalip Tribes and the Everett City Council have pledged a new spirit of cooperation between their two governments.

Everett City Council President Arlan Hatloe told the Everett Herald that the city and tribes are trying "to resolve issues we've had over the years. We want to be good neighbors and work with them."

Tulalip Vice Chairman Stan Jones agreed, telling the Herald, "We hope to be able to get together and work on some of the issues that we have." The council and tribes signed an alliance reflecting their desire to work with each other.

The two governments met in a joint public meeting for the first time Sept. 17.

The Tulalips sued Everett twice in 2001. In one suit, the Tulalips claimed proposed riverfront development would harm Chinook salmon. In another suit, for $36 million, the Tulalips alleged more than a million salmon and trout were lost in the 45 years after dams were built on the Sultan River, the Herald reported.

In the alliance, the Tulalips and the city pledge to "cooperate in a manner that secures a relationship that builds trust and enhances governmental stability, seeks economic benefit for the people they represent, provides education of the social and cultural aspects that honor their past, present and future, and continues to elevate and provide for the health of their people," the Herald reported.

Lummi Nation donates to local non-profits

LUMMI, Wash. - Lummi Nation has donated more than $140,000 in gaming proceeds to non-profit organizations in Whatcom County.

Lummi Nation honored its compact with Washington state by donating 2 percent impact fees from its video gaming devices and table games at Silver Reef Casino.

"It's a historic day in Lummi," Lummi Chairman Darrell Hillaire said. "The list of groups and organizations we are giving money to will have a direct impact on the residents of Whatcom County and the Lummi Nation. We are also happy to be able to accommodate some tribal programs and organizations as well."

Recipients include:

*Whatcom County Fire District No. 7 and No. 8, $21,463 each.

*Whatcom County Sheriff's Office, $21,463.

*Big Brothers Big Sisters, $10,000.

*Washington State Gamblers Anonymous, $5,000.

*Explorations Academy, $5,000.

*Lighthouse Mission, $2,500.

*Opportunity Council, $2,500.

*Waterfront Futures project, $2,000.

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*Salmon Homecoming event in Seattle, $1,500.

*YWCA, $1,000.

Lummi projects also received funding:

*Lummi House of Tears Carvers, for casket making, $15,000.

*Lummi C.E.D.A.R. Project, $5,000.

* Northwest Native American Basketweavers, $5,000.

*Lummi High School Blackhawks Boosters, $2,000.

*Lummi Veterans Post 33, $2,000.

*Northwest Indian College, American Indian Science and Engineering, $2,000.

*Salish Soccer Team, $1,275.

*Lummi elders' lunches, $1,000.

Recipients were selected by members of the Lummi Indian Business Council and the state Gambling Commission.

Wells Fargo donates to Kalispel's Camas Institute

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Wells Fargo Foundation has donated $3,500 to the Camas Institute, a chartered entity of the Kalispel Tribe of Indians.

The donation will go to the Camas Learning Center, a program of the institute. The Learning Center offers many programs to members of the Kalispel Tribe as well as others in the community. Programs include tutoring, reading clubs, youth activities, cultural arts, healthy lifestyle education, GED preparation and financial aid assistance.

"Wells Fargo is very pleased to support the Camas Learning Center Project," said Don Young, president of Wells Fargo's Eastern Washington Community Banking. "The educational component of the after-school mentoring is culturally relevant and, as a result, captures the interest of the student allowing for greater understanding and retention."

Camas Institute President David Bonga called the donation "a gift ? to the community as a whole."

"This donation will help the Camas Institute realize its goals of education and enrichment for the many people who benefit from our services."

The Camas Institute prepares its students for higher education, employment and community involvement. Programs include the Camas Learning Center Project, dealer-training courses, distance education and mentoring programs.

Nine Indian nations and college awarded grants

SEATTLE, Wash. - Nine American Indian nations and Northwest Indian College will share $1.2 million in grants awarded for economic development projects.

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe will conduct small business training and development and operate a small revolving loan fund.

Northwest Indian College in Lummi will establish a campus child care facility.

Makah, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Quinault, Quileute, Squaxin Island, Skokomish, Stillaguamish and Suquamish are acquiring a dive boat for environmental protection of public health, a first response unit, law enforcement patrol boats, and communications infrastructure.

The money is part of a total $45 million the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded in rural and tribal communities in 39 states.

"The grants will help community leaders bring new business and jobs to their community, provide fire, rescue and public safety to protect rural families, and support educational opportunities that increase the ability to compete in the global marketplace," Secretary Ann Veneman said.

Veneman said the $45 million will help fund 129 first responder and public safety requests, create or save nearly 1,000 jobs through financing more than 130 businesses, help 24 tribal colleges build and renovate educational facilities, and help 16 tribal governments with business development.

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at