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News Release

Puyallup Tribe of Indians

The Puyallup Tribe and Amazon.com Inc. have partnered to open a 520,000-square-foot sorting center in Fife that is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area and strengthen the Tribe’s economic portfolio.

The building is expected to launch soon. It includes 122 loading docks and 280 trailer stalls and is being built on about 41 acres of land at 7449 45th St. Ct. E. The land is within Fife’s city limits and owned by the Tribe, which as a sovereign nation has authority over it.

When fully operational, more than 500 people are expected to be employed. Both entities signed a cooperation agreement that among other things says Amazon will support the Tribe’s Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (TERO) efforts, designed to increase contracting and employment opportunities for Indians on the reservation. Amazon agreed to make the Tribe aware of employment opportunities as well as requests for proposals and similar procurement opportunities.

“This will have a long-term impact on our Members and generate hundreds of new jobs with great pay and benefits for our region,” said Bill Sterud, chairman of the Puyallup Tribal Council. “This is exciting. It’s an opportunity to open new career paths in industries like logistics, retail, and technology with a company that is known for innovating.”

The project is also part of the Tribe’s long-term economic development plans.

“We have promised our Membership that we will diversify our Tribe’s revenue streams, to make us more resilient to economic changes and protect our people well into the future,” Chairman Sterud said. “We already have the best casino in the state. In recent years we built a cancer center and natural healing center, and we expanded into cannabis sales. This month we announced our entry into commercial real estate through the purchase of The Ram and C.I. Shenanigans on Ruston Way. This deal is another major step forward. All of these activities bring prosperity to our Membership, and as always we are committed to sharing with our neighbors.”

Every year, the Tribe donates millions of dollars from its revenue to charities. Recipients have included food banks, Special Olympics Washington, American Cancer Society, Hilltop Artists and the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. In fiscal year 2020 alone, the Tribe donated $2.5 million to various groups.

The Tribe has been vocal about similar projects’ potential to disturb the environment and cultural resources. In contrast, the Tribe’s regulatory departments, such as Fisheries, concluded the Fife project posed no dangers to fish or other resources. Panattoni Development Company Inc. developed the building, which is inclusive of sustainability initiatives including future electric truck charging stations and energy efficient lighting systems.

Sterud also noted Amazon’s Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net zero carbon across its business by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. More details about the pledge can be found here: https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/about/the-climate-pledge. The Puyallup Tribe in December 2019 became one of the first tribes in the world to declare a climate emergency.

Tribal Financial Officer Matt Wadhwani, who under Tribal Council’s direction is the staff lead for the Economic Development Team, said the Tribe is well-positioned to create more mutually beneficial partnerships.

“This deal shows Tribal Council is serious about using our assets, expertise, and vision to align with innovative companies that respect our Tribe and share our values,” Wadhwani said.

About the Puyallup Tribe of Indians

The Puyallup People have lived along the shores of what is now called Puget Sound since time immemorial. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is a sovereign nation of more than 5,000 members and one of the largest employers in Pierce County. It serves its people and neighbors with generosity and is committed to building a sustainable way of life for future generations. Learn more about the Puyallup Tribe.

About the Puyallup Tribal Council

The Puyallup Tribal Council is the elected governing body of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The council consists of Chairman Bill Sterud, Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller, Annette Bryan, James Rideout, Anna Bean, Monica Miller and Fred Dillon.

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