S’Klallam Tribe celebrate's 40 years

Today, Ron Allen is the tribal chairman and CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. In fact he was the first tribal chairman and has served in that position since the tribe was recognized in 1981. Oak Flat isn't over yet, Carina Dominguez is following the story and she joins us with the latest.
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In the far northwestern part of Washington state, just south of Victoria, Canada is the home of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

The tribe’s history with the U.S. Federal government goes back to 1855 when the tribe signed the, “Point No Point Treaty.” Yet, 100 years later the government changed its policy thus setting up the struggle for the formal federal recognition process.

It took years of proving who they were and what their tie to the land was before they gained federal recognition on February 10, 1981.

Today, Ron Allen is the tribal chairman and CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. In fact he was the first tribal chairman and has served in that position since the tribe was recognized in 1981.

He joins us to discuss the progress of his tribe and what they have planned for the future.

The issue of Oak Flat is not over yet. Despite the latest court ruling. Carina Dominguez is following the story and she joins us with the latest.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • The NASA rover Perseverance streaks toward its landing on Mars. It’s the riskiest step yet in an epic quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on the red planet.
  • The Cherokee Nation Businesses in Oklahoma are closed this week in an effort to help conserve power in this unprecedented winter storm.
  • According to the New Mexico Department of Health, Native Americans account for 57 percent of the state’s Covid-19 cases. That means their case rate is 14 times higher than the rest of the population.

  • The state of Minnesota is returning land where the Dakota War began to a tribe.

Some quotes from today's show 

Ron Allen 

"So they talked me into coming onto the council. This was in 1975 and in 1977 I became the chair and I started leading the charge. I picked up the charge on becoming federally recognized in the late seventies, mid seventies, late seventies when the federal recognition process unfolding in the Bureau of United Affairs And, we quickly got our petition together, got in the queue list back in that time around 1975, 1976 we became the 19th application and as they kept unfolding, the rules and criteria kept changing because of the strength of ours and the support that we had in our region here in the Northwest”.

"You had to become recognized and then you had to be accepted in what's called the bolt court decision that happened in the mid seventies, that was a big driver. Then after that, it became a part of restoring, preserving and restoring our cultural and traditional practices. So that's been unfolding for the last 40 years, including the restoration of our languages and many of the practices we have as only one of them traditional foods and so forth. There's a lot of thought to who we are as a unique Indigenous people in, in the American American Indian Society”.

Carina Dominguez 

“Recently a judge decided that this group, the grassroots group Apache stronghold does not have any standing to sue saying they're not a sovereign nation. So, they are planning on appealing that. The judge said a number of other things that they disagreed with among those being that the Apaches right to religion, wasn't a burden and wasn't something that was worth, you know, recognizing”.

“There is a long way to go. So at this point, you know, nothing has been signed. It's not official. I know with those delays, they're actually waiting and seeking public comments right now. So, Apache strongholds are encouraging their supporters, their group members, anyone else who might care about this issue to go ahead and make those comments, they have all that information on their website”.

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Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Carina Dominguez, Pascua Yaqui, is a correspondent for the Indian Country Today Newscast. She covers news, politics and environmental issues. She’s most familiar with southwest tribes and splits her time between Phoenix, Arizona and New York. 

CarinaDominguez@indiancountrytoday.com, Twitter: @Carinad7, Instagram: @CarinaNicole

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