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Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish Reservation of Washington facts for kids

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Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
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Sign at the entrance to the Swinomish Reservation
Total population
(778 (ca. 2002))
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Washington)
Languages
Swinomish, English, formerly Samish
Religion
traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Salish peoples

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, also known as the Swinomish Tribe, is a federally recognized Tribe located on Puget Sound in Washington. They are an Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest that includes the Central and Coast Salish peoples who lived in the Samish and Skagit River valleys, nearby coasts, and islands. The Tribe's population includes Swinomish, Lower Skagit, Upper Skagit, Kikiallus, and Samish peoples.

Reservation

Fidalgo Island 32034
Fidalgo Island with the Swinomish Indian Reservation in the background

The Swinomish Reservation is located on Puget Sound, on the southeastern side of Fidalgo Island in Skagit County, Washington. It was established in 1855 by the Treaty of Point Elliot. The reservation is 15 square miles in area, including 7,450 acres of upland and 2,900 acres of tidelands. According to the 2000 census, the resident population of 2,664 persons, with 23 percent being of full Native American ancestry.

Prominent sites on the Swinomish Reservation include:

  • Swadabs Park, on Swinomish Channel: The park features three pavilions resembling woven cedar hats, interpretive panels, and a native plant garden. The park was developed for the 2011 Canoe Journey/Paddle to Swinomish. Canoe races also take place here in the channel.
  • Kukutali Preserve: the first Tribal State Park in the history of the United States to be co-owned and jointly managed by a federally recognized Native Nation and a state government. The preserve is entirely on the Swinomish Reservation and encompasses 83 acres spanning three islands, with more than two miles of natural shoreline, and is adjacent to 38 acres of Swinomish-owned tidelands.

Language

English is commonly spoken by Tribal members. Some elders speak Swinomish (also known as Skagit), a Lushootseed language that is part of the Central Salish language family. Some also spoke Samish, another Central Salish language.

Economic development

The Swinomish Tribe owns and operates the Swinomish Casino & Lodge, overlooking Padilla Bay; Swinomish Golf Links, nearby on Highway 20; Swinomish RV Park, on Swinomish Channel; Swinomish Fish Co., which processes and cans salmon marketed worldwide under the "Native Catch" label; and two Chevron stations and convenient stores. The gaming complex generates revenues that help support Tribal services, such as health and education.

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