Land & People & Lifestyle

Fisher McCloud casting at Point Julia

Fisher McCleod casting at Point Julia.



Early History | European Contact | Refusal To Relocate | Point Julia | References


Early History

By Jerry Gorsline

The S'Klallam were called the Nux Sklai Yem, Strong People. Historically, they belonged to the Salish speaking people who lived from the central British Columbia Coast to northwestern Oregon and the interior Fraser and Columbia River basins. The Salish people were well established in the Puget Sound basin by 1400 A.D, having arrived from the interior by way of the Skagit and Fraser rivers.

For centuries, the Salish occupied the shores of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound, adapting their lives to the natural bounty of the land, rivers and sea. Permanent villages of plank and pole houses provided shelter for groups of extended families through the wet winters, which was a time of ceremonial and religious activities. In the spring, individual families made their seasonal rounds and camping at traditional fishing, hunting and gathering sites throughout their territory. Rush mats and notched cedar poles provided temporary shelter.


S'Klallam village at Point Julia

S'Klallam village at Point Julia


The S'Klallams were gathered in at least 15 villages stretching along the south shore of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. They enjoyed friendly relations with their Salish-speaking neighbors the Twana, and shared fishing sites with them in Hood Canal. The first contact between the S'Klallams and Europeans occurred in the last year of the 18th century, when English and Spanish explorers penetrated the Straits of Juan de Fuca, seeking the legendary Northwest Passage. After the explorers came fur traders, missionaries, gold seekers, then the settlers.


European Contact

Profound cultural changes followed contact with Euro americans. Disease, such as smallpox, for which Native Americans had no immunity, devastated the population and social fabric of the S'Klallams. Estimates of mortality among the Pacific Northwest Indians, resulting form European-born disease, range as high as 90 percent. Hudson's Bay Company records suggest there were approximately 1,500 S'Klallams in 1845. By 1853, when the Washington Territory was created, government records indicated that S'Klallam numbers had dwindled to only about 400.

At this point, there were already some 4,000 settlers north of the Columbia River, mostly concentrated in the Puget Sound area. Bloody clashes between Indians and whites occurred throughout the territory with increasing frequency. Pioneer settlements were springing up in S'Klallam territory at places like Dungeness and Port Townsend, and a saw mill was already operating at nearby Port Ludlow. Our whole territory is alive with Indians, complained one pioneer, who kept up a most provoking and unceasing broil about the lands which they say the Bostons' [the Indian name for Americans] are holding without a proper and legitimate right and title to the same.


Early photo of the George family.

Early photo of the George family.


In November 1853, Isaac Stevens, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the new territory, arrived in Olympia and promised that extinguishing the Indian land title was foremost on his agenda, to be resolved through the treaty-making authority granted him by the federal government. In the winter of 1855, the S'Klallam, Chemakum and Twana tribes gathered at the northeast point of the Kitsap Peninsula, Known as Point No Point (1), to negotiate a treaty with Isaac Stevens. On a cold January day, the S'Klallams signed away their title to 438,430 acres of ancestral lands.


Daisy Day Fulton with mill in background.  Courtesy of Lloyd Fulton.

Daisy Day Fulton with mill in background.


Courtesy of Lloyd Fulton.


Terms of the Point No Point treaty were poorly understood by the Indians. Negotiations were conducted in the extremely limited Chinook Jargon, a trade language consisting of a few hundred words, and the Euro american concept of private property was foreign to Native peoples' communal, family-based sense of territory.


Tribal members fishing at the mill during their lunch time.  Courtesy of Lloyd Fulton.

Tribal members fishing at the mill during their lunch time.

Courtesy of Lloyd Fulton.


The treaty itself contained two inconsistent provisions: The S'Klallams secured the right to fish in their usual and accustomed grounds and stations, but they were assigned to the Skokomish Reservation 100 to 180 miles away from their usual and accustomed places along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the mouth of Hood Canal. Population pressure from settlers rendered the treaty out of date before it was even ratified by the U.S. Senate four years later. Goods promised to the Indians under their treaty of January 1855 were not distributed for the first time until 1861. From the time of white settlement, until their treaty rights were recognized by court decision in the 1970s, the S'Klallam Nation faced a fundamental challenges to its existence.


Rose Purser with her granddaughter at a clambake.

Rose Purser with her granddaughter at a clambake.


Refusal to Relocate

The historic record is silent about what transpired between Talbot's men and the original occupants of what would become the mill town of Port Gamble. But, according to tribal oral history, the S'KlallamsMortar and pestle complied with Talbot's request that they relocate across the bay at Point Julia, with the promise they would always have work at the mill and lumber to build their new homes.

One of the first chores Talbot's men accomplished was to construct a store for trading with the S'Klallam people, as well as the nearby Twana, Suquamish and Chemakum Tribes. By late September of that year Talbot's Puget Mill Company began operations, and the history of the S'Klallam settlement at Point Julia, named Little Boston by a Yankee sea captain, begins.

In 1878 the Little Boston population was estimated to be about 100. That number remained consistent, more or less, through the last quarter of the nineteenth century. S'Klallam people living at Point Julia were quickly drawn into the developing American economy. They provided labor for the mill and acquired food and supplies at the Port Gamble store. While continuing their traditional hunting and gathering activities for substance, they sold fish and clams to the settlers at Port Gamble and
Port Townsend.

Point Julia

Talbot made good his promise to provide lumber for the homes at Point Julia, and gradually Little Boston evolved into a permanent settlement. Photographs from the turn of the century show about 20 new England- style frame houses, a school and a Catholic Church.

The sand spit forming Point Julia sometimes flooded, and also enclosed a small lagoon, so the buildings had to be elevated on posts. A covered trough was constructed to carry water from a nearby creek to the village. Gravity fed, it started at the bluff above the spit and ended about 3 feet off the ground. Tribal elders today remember getting water from the trough by lifting a board in the side, and also recall icicles forming on it during the winter.


Point Julia

Point Julia


V-shaped basketToday's elders spent their childhood living on the spit, attending the Little Boston day school. A government teacher would travel to Port Gamble and row across the bay to Point Julia, returning home on weekends. Like many others Washington Indians, residents of Little Boston went to Puyallup Valley to pick hops during the late summer and early fall. Travel time to Tacoma was about two weeks by canoe. Berry picking jobs also attracted the S'Klallams to the southern part of Puget Sound. After stopping in Seattle, they typically voyaged to Tacoma, and camped along the shores of the Puyallup River. Their employers picked them up in a wagon and took them to the berry fields. At times, during the period between 1910 and 1920, families spent the winter at Washington Harbor near Sequim, and the cannery there. Some of the S'Klallams also went to Victoria, British Columbia, by way of Whidbey Island, to work in the fish canneries.

During this time, parents of today's elders were sent off to to government-run boarding schools, such as the Cushman Indian Trade Schools on the Puyallup Reservation near present day Tacoma. Officials used these schools to foster a program of assimilation. Isolated from their elders, the children were indoctrinated into the ways of the white world, learning the three R's and receiving training in manual trades and domestic sciences. Tribal language and traditional ways were prohibited. Many of today's tribal elders recall hearing their grandparents speaking S'Klallam, but not being able to understand them.



Gerald "Jake" Jones at the canoe shed.


Canoe handmade by Lloyd FultonIn the late 1930s, the Port Gamble S'Klallams successfully petitioned the federal government to recognize their independent tribal status. In 1936, the United States government purchased Point Julia and some surrounding parcels that were owned by the Puget Mill Company, in order to create the 1,231-acre Port Gamble S'Klallam Reservation. In 1939, gasoline was poured on some of the houses at Point Julia and the village was burned to the ground. Some of the older people didn't want to leave the spit, having lived there most of their lives. One tribal member recalls an elder who had to be forced out of her home. She sat in an old chair while they were packing her stuff out. She was sitting there crying and talking to herself and singing in Indian. It was pitiful to watch. Under pressure from the federal government, the S'Klallams relocated on the bluff above Point Julia. A new era of federally-funded programs with the construction of replacement houses and community facilities for the tribal members, including a new school.

During the period from the 1930s to the 1970s, a growing non-native fishing industry led to disputes about Indian fishing rights. Fishing rights reserved by tribes at the time of the Stevens treaties came increasingly under attack. In the early 1960s state officials began to arrest Indians fishing off-reservation, confiscating their gear. Tensions led to violent confrontations. The various tribes conducted demonstrations and began a campaign of civil disobedience with the much-publicized fish-ins.


Young Tribal members practice paddling at Point Julia.

Young Tribal members practice paddling at Point Julia.


The federal government finally intervened in this bitter controversy. In 1974, in US v. Washington, Federal Judge George Boldt rendered a decision against the state of Washington, in favor of Indian treaty rights. He interpreted the treaty language securing the right of tribes to fish at their usual and accustomed places in common with all citizens, to mean that Indians should receive 50 percent of each year's salmon harvest. Following the Boldt decision in 1974, the Port Gamble and Lower Elwha S'Klallams joined with the Skokomish Tribe (formerly the Twana ) to form the Point No Point Treaty Council, a fisheries management cooperative designed to manage and enhance the fisheries resources in the Point No Point Treaty area.(3) In 1976, a Point No Point tribal fish hatchery was constructed at the base of the bluff on Point Julia, at the mouth of Little Boston Creek. The Tribe still uses this facility as a chum hatchery.



Cooking "Salmon on a Stick"

 Handmade basket

The state of Washington refused to implement a Boldt decision and initiated a series of unsuccessful legal challenges. Seven years of court battles and civil disobedience ensued while the western Washington tribes continued to fight for their treaty rights. In 1981, the state finally adopted a negotiating posture, which led to the Puget Sound Management Plan in 1985. Under this plan, the tribes and state agreed to co-manage the fishery, sharing data, making run estimates, and setting harvest levels cooperatively.


Fisherman Mark Nilluka preparing his net for the fishing season.

Fisherman Mark Nilluka preparing his net for the fishing season.


During the 1980s the Port Gamble S'Klallam began to assert authority over their economic development, creating a gas station store, mobile home park and 20 acre business park on reservation lands. Tribal staff was increased from one dozen to over 50 people. An Economic Development Authority was created to support existing operations and to create new enterprise, and the Tribe began to administer Federal economic development grants.


Jeff Fulton setting his net for smelt.

Jeff Fulton setting his net for smelt.


Loon bowl, carved by Floyed JonesFederal officials controlled the grant contracting process with regulations left little room for tribal flexibility. In order to assume full responsibility in the protection and advancement of their culture, economic and political goals, the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe joined the Tribal Self- Governance Project in 1990. Self- Governance returns decision making authority and management responsibility to the Tribes. Economic development is viewed by the Tribe as the development of human resources, not just jobs and revenues, and earnings are reinvested in the community.

. . . While the Port Gamble S'Klallams own a relatively small reservation, the Tribe continues to have the right to access and harvest resources in its traditional ( usual and accustomed ) areas beyond the reservation. This is in keeping with the intent of the Point No Point Treaty and the tribe's traditional way of life. Although some of the outward technologies have changed, the Port Gamble S'Klallams continued a tradition of resource utilization through fishing, hunting, clam digging and other activities. Other cultural traditions continued as well, though subtly, and in new forms.


Headstart teacher Chad Sullivan with his students at Point Julia.

Headstart teacher Chad Sullivan with his
students at Point Julia.


The S'Klallams are inland salt water and river people and their graceful cedar dugouts were this region's first traditional small craft. The canoe played a critical role in the native lifestyle and today it continues to play a significant part in contemporary northwest Indian culture. The S'Klallam Nation (which today includes the Port Gamble, Jamestown and Lower Elwha Tribes) is participating in a region-wide revival of the traditional canoe. In 1989, Port Gamble S'Klallam tribal members voyaged to Seattle in their hand-carved craft with a flotilla of more than 30 other dugouts. And again in 1993, they completed a 500-mile trip voyage to Bella Bella, British Columbia for a gathering of Coastal tribal nations.


Various tribal nations pulling into shore from a canoe journey at Point Julia.

Various tribal nations pulling into shore from
a canoe journey at Point Julia.


Over the years the Tribe's community and culture have maintained a great deal of continuity, enabling it to adapt to our changing world. The reason for this continuity is rooted in the land. The Port Gamble S'Klallam reservation land is owned by the Tribe as a whole, not by individuals. Communal sharing of the land has helped to preserve essential social and cultural traditions.


S'Klallam dancers performing at the longhouse.

S'Klallam dancers performing
at the longhouse.


The Tribe's culture continues, though not through the beads and blankets that often make up the popular image of Indian people. These things exist, but they are not so much culture as artifacts. It exists not in the outward things, but in the inward life of the people, in their outlook on life and the way they relate to one another as taught by the elders represented in this publication.


Tribal member Eddie Tom




The photographic and oral history of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Elders

Sponsored by the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Council
Major Funding:
The Washington Commission for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Council, The center for Substance Abuse Prevention, The Indian Health Service
(Portland Area)
Project Directors: Marie Hebert. Carol Perron
Photographer: John Stamets
Historian: Jerry Gorsline
Oral Historians: Marie Hebert, Candi Ives, Kathy Purser, Lisa DeCoteau, Billie Jo Reynolds, Angie Charles, Karron Stiner, Renee Veregge, Jeffrey Veregge, Talia DeCoteau
Editor and Graphic Design: Fanie Carrier

American Friends Service Committee
Uncommon controversy: Fishing rights of the Muckleshoot, Puyallup and Nisqually Indians. Seattle: University of Washington Press.1970
Ames, E.G.
History of Port Gamble Washington, Port Gamble, Washington Territory, August 1, 1884. Port Gamble Archives
Boyd, Robert T.
The introduction of Infectious Diseases among the Indians of the Pacific Northwest, 1774 Ð 1884. Unpublished dissertation. Seattle University of Washington 1985.
Castile, George Pierre
The Indians of Puget Sound: The notebooks of Myron Eells. Seattle University of Washington Press. 1985.
Coman, Edwin T, and Helen M. Gibbs
Time, Tide, and Timber: A Century of Pope & Talbot. Standford: Standford University Press 1949.
Daugherty, D. and Jeanne M. Welch
A cultural resource survey of the of the proposed Port Gamble Indian Reservation Solid Waste Disposal Facility. Olympia: Western Heritage, Inc.
Eells, Myron
The Twana, Chemakum and Klallam Indians of Washington Territory. Washington: Smithsonian Annual Report. 1897.
Elmendor, WW
The Structure of Twana Culture. Research Studies, Washington State University, Monographic Supplement No. 2, Pullman 1960.
Gorsline, Jerry
Shadows of Our Ancestors: Readings in the History of Klallam-White Relations. Port Townsend; Empty Bowl Press 1992
Gunther, Erna
Klallam Enthnography, in University of Washington. Publications in Anthropology, Vol. 1, No. 5 pp 171-314. Seattle University of Washington 1927.
Harry, Russell J.
Paul Kanes's Frontier. Austin University of Texas Press 1971.
Richards, Kent D.
Isaac I. Stevens: Young Man in a Hurry. Provo: Bringam Young University Press 1979.
Ruby, Robert H. and John A. Brown
A Guide to the Indian Tribes of the Pacific Northwest. Norman and London University of Oklahoma Press 1992.
Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Norman and London : University of Oklahoma Press 1981.
Myron Eells and The Puget Sound Indians, Seattle Superior Publishing Company 1976.
Suttles, Wayne
Coast Salish Essays. Seattle University of Washington Press 1987.

Treaty of Point No Point, 1855

Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at Hahdskus, or Point no Point, Suquamiah Head, in the Territory of Washington, this twenty-sixth day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-five, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the said Territory, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the different villages of the S'Klallams, viz: Kah-tai, Squah-quaihtl, Tch-queen, Ste-tehtlum, Tsohkw, Yennis, Elh-wa, Pishtst, Hunnint, Klat-la-wash, and Oke-ho, and also of the Sko-ko-mish, To-an-hooch, and Chem-a-kum tribes, occupying certain lands on the Straits of Fuca and Hood's Canal, in the Territory of Washington, on behalf of said tribes, and duly authorized by them.


The said tribes and bands of Indians hereby cede, relinquish, and convey to the United States all their right, title, and interest in and to the lands and country occupied by them, bounded and described as follows, viz: Commencing at the mouth of the Okeho River, on the Straits of Fuca; thence southeastwardly along the westerly line of territory claimed by the Makah tribe of Indians to the summit of the Cascade Range; thence still southeastwardly and southerly along said summit to the head of the west branch of the Satsop River, down that branch to the main fork; thence eastwardly and following the line of lands heretofore ceded to the the United States by the Nisqually and other tribes and bands of Indians, to the summit of the Black Hills, and northeastwardly to the portage known as Wilkes' Portage; thence northeastwardly, and following the line of lands heretofore ceded to the United States by the Dwamish, Suquamish, and other tribes and bands of Indians, to Suquamish Head; thence northerly through Admiralty Inlet to the Straits of Fuca; thence westwardly through said straits to the place of beginning; including all the right, title, and interest of the said tribes and bands to any land in the Territory of Washington.


There is, however, reserved for the present use and occupation of the said tribes and bands the following tract of land, viz: The amount of six sections, or three thousand eight hundred and forty acres, situated at the head of Hood's Canal, to be hereafter set apart, and so far as necessary, surveyed and marked out for their exclusive use; nor shall any white man be permitted to reside upon the same without permission of the said tribes and bands, and of the superintendent or agent; but, if necessary for the public convenience, roads may be run through the said reservation, the Indians being compensated for any damage thereby done them. It is, however, understood that should the President of the United States hereafter see fit to place upon the said reservation any other friendly tribe or band, to occupy the same in common with those above mentioned, he shall be at liberty to do so.


The said tribes and bands agree to remove to and settle upon the said reservation within one year after the ratification of this treaty, or sooner if the means are furnished them. In the mean time, it shall be lawful for them to reside upon any lands not in the actual claim or occupation of citizens of the United States, and upon any land claimed or occupied,
if with the permission of the owner.


The right of taking fish at usual and accustomed grounds and stations is further secured to said Indians, in common with all citizens of the United States; and of erecting temporary houses for the purpose of curing; together with the privilege of hunting and gathering roots and berries on open and unclaimed lands. Provided, however, That they shall not take shell-fish from any beds staked or cultivated by citizens.


In consideration of the above cession the United States agree to pay to the said tribes and bands the sum of sixty thousand dollars, in the following manner, that is to say: during the first year after the ratification hereof, six thousand dollars; for the next two years, five thousand dollars each year; for the next three years, four thousand dollars each year; for the next four years, three thousand dollars each year; for the next five years, two thousand four hundred dollars each year; and for the next five years, one thousand six hundred dollars each year. All which said sums of money shall be applied to the use and benefit of the said Indians under the direction of the President of the United States, who may from time to time determine at his discretion upon what beneficial objects to expend the same. And the superintendent of Indian affairs, or other proper officer, shall each year inform the President of the wishes of said Indians in respect thereto.


To enable the said Indians to remove to and settle upon their aforesaid reservations, and to clear, fence, and break up a sufficient quantity of land for cultivation, the United States further agree to pay the sum of six thousand dollars, to be laid out and expended under the direction of the President, and in such manner as he shall approve.


The President may hereafter, when in his opinion the interests of the Territory shall require, and the welfare of said Indians be promoted, remove them from said reservation to such other suitable place or places within said Territory as he may deem fit, on remunerating them for their improvements and the expenses of their removal; or may consolidate them with other friendly tribes or bands. And he may further, at his discretion, cause the whole or any portion of the lands hereby reserved, or of such other lands as may be selected in lieu thereof, to be surveyed into lots, and assign the same to such individuals or families as are willing to avail themselves of the privilege, and will locate thereon as a permanent home, on the same terms and subject to the same regulations as are provided in the sixth article of the treaty with the Omahas, so far as the same may be applicable. Any substantial improvements heretofore made by any Indians, and which he shall be compelled to abandon in consequence of this treaty, shall be valued under the direction of the President, and payment made therefor accordingly.


The annuities of the aforesaid tribes and bands shall not be taken to pay the debts of individuals.


The said tribes and bands acknowledge their dependence on the Government of the United States, and promise to be friendly with all citizens thereof; and they pledge themselves to commit no depredations on the property of such citizens. And should any one or more of them violate this pledge, and the fact be satisfactorily proven before the agent, the property taken shall be returned, or in default thereof, or if injured or destroyed, compensation may be made by the Government out of their annuities. Nor will they make war on any other tribe, except in self-defence, but will submit all matters of difference between them and other Indians to the Government of the United States, or its agent, for decision, and abide thereby. And if any of the said Indians commit any depredations on any other Indians within the Territory, the same rule shall prevail as that prescribed in this article in cases of depredations against citizens. And the said tribes agree not to shelter or conceal offenders against the United States, but to deliver them up for trial by the authorities.


The above tribes and bands are desirous to exclude from their reservation the use of ardent spirits, and to prevent their people from drinking the same, and therefore it is provided that any Indian belonging thereto who shall be guilty of bringing liquor into said reservation, or who drinks liquor, may have his or her proportion of the annuities withheld from him or her for such time as the President may determine.


The United States further agree to establish at the general agency for the district of Puget's Sound, within one year from the ratification hereof, and to support for the period of twenty years, an agricultural and industrial school, to be free to children of the said tribes and bands in common with those of the other tribes of said district, and to provide a smithy and carpenter's shop, and furnish them with the necessary tools, and employ a blacksmith, carpenter, and farmer for the term of twenty years, to instruct the Indians in their respective occupations. And the United States further agree to employ a physician to reside at the said central agency, who shall furnish medicine and advice to the sick, and shall vaccinate them; the expenses of the said school, shops, persons employed, and medical attendance to be defrayed by the United States, and not deducted from the annuities.


The said tribes and bands agree to free all slaves now held by them, and not to purchase or acquire others hereafter.


The said tribes and bands finally agree not to trade at Vancouver's Island, or elsewhere out of the dominions of the United States, nor shall foreign Indians be permitted to reside in their reservations without consent of the superintendent or agent.


This treaty shall be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same shall be ratified by the President of the United States.

In testimony whereof, the said Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs, and the undersigned chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the aforesaid tribes and bands of Indians have hereunto set their hands and seals at the place and on the day and year herebefore written.

Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent. (L.S.)
Chits-a-mah-han, the Duke of York, Chief of the S'klallams, his x mark. (L.S.)
Dah-whil-luk, Chief of the Sko-ko-mish, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kul-kah-han, or General Pierce, Chief of the Chem-a-kum, his x mark. (L.S.)
Hool-hole-tan, or Jim, Sko-ko-mish sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Sai-a-kade, or Frank, Sko-ko-mish sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Loo-gweh-oos, or George, Sko-ko-mish sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
E-dagh-tan, or Tom, Sko-ko-mish sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kai-a-han, or Daniel Webster, Chem-a-kum sub-chief, his x mark. (L. S.)
Ets-sah-quat, Chem-a-kum sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kleh-a-kunst, Chem-a-kum sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
He-atl, Duke of Clarence, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Lach-ka-nam, or Lord Nelson, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L. S.)
Tchotest, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Hoot-ote St, or General Lane, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L. S.)
To-totesh, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Hah-kwja-mihl, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Skai-se-ee, or Mr. Newman, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kahs-sahs-a-matl, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
S'hote-ch-stan, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Lah-st, or Tom, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Tuls-met-tum, Lord Jim, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Yaht-le-min, or General Taylor, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kla-koisht, or Captain, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Sna-talc, or General Scott, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Tseh-a-take, or Tom Benton, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Yah-kwi-e-nook, or General Gaines, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kai-at-lah, or General Lane, Jr., S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Captain Jack, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
He-ach-kate, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
T'soh-as-hau, or General Harrison, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kwah-nalt-sote, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
S'hoke-tan, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Paitl, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Wen-a-hap, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Klew-sum-ah, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Se-att-home-tau, S'klallam sub-chief, his x mark. (L.S.)
Tsat-sat-hoot, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Pe-an-ho, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Yi-ah-hum, or John Adams, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Ti-itch-stan, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Soo-yahntch, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Ttseh-a-take, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
He-ats-at-soot, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Tow-oots-hoot, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Tsheh-ham, or General Pierce, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Kwin-nas-sum, or George, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Hai-ahts, John, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Hai-otest, John, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Seh-win-num, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Yai-tst, or George, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
He-pait, or John, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Slimm, or John, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
T'klalt-soot, or Jack, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
S'tai-tan, or Sam, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
Hut-tets-oot, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)
How-a-owl, S'klallam tribe, his x mark. (L.S.)

Executed in the presence of us - -
M. T. Simmons,
C. H. Mason, secretary Washington Territory,
Benj. F. Shaw, interpreter,
John H. Scranton,
Josiah P. Keller,
C. M. Hitchcock, M.D.,
A. B. Gove,
H. A. Goldsborough,
B. J. Madison,
F. A. Rowe,
Jas. M. Hunt,
George Gibbs, secretary,
John J. Reilly,
Robt. Davis,
S. S. Ford, Jr.,
H. D. Cock,
Orrington Cushman,
J. Conklin.

Ratified Mar. 8, 1859. Proclaimed Apr. 29, 1859

History | Culture | Treaty of Point No Point



Port Gamble Bay, ancestral home of the Port Gamble S'Klallams.

Land and Port Gamble Bay The Port Gamble S'Klallam Reservation consists of approximately 1,700 acres of land held in trust by the federal government. There is no private land ownership on the reservation. Most of the land is in forestry with residential, business, and office areas. The reservation receives approximately 20 inches of rain per year due to its location in the Olympic Mountain rain shadow. The reservation lands rise from the beach to a gently rolling terrain. Bear, deer and other wildlife also live on the reservation. The Tribe has acquired three pieces of land that are adjacent to the reservation. The major piece, nearly 400 acres, is primarily forested, with some young trees planted a few years ago.

Port Gamble Bay is one of Kitsap's largest and most productive bays. On a sunny day the water sparkles and shines, never revealing the decades of pollution that have weakened this gem's eco-system. There are many causes for the havoc, but much of the Bay's toxic history can be traced back to the Pope & Talbot-owned sawmill, which employed many members of the Tribe and operated on the banks of the Bay for more than 150 years. Soon after the mill split its first piece of wood in 1853, woody debris and harmful chemicals began being deposited into the sediments. Throughout the mill's lifetime, Port Gamble Bay became the unwilling home to a host of toxic chemicals leading to it becoming one of seven Puget Sound Initiative Cleanup sites.

Since the mill's closure in 1997, some work has been done by Pope Resources and other entities to improve the situation, but major problems remain.

There is good news—Port Gamble Bay has proved to be naturally resilient. For example, it is the only bay remaining in Kitsap County and one of the last in Puget Sound still open for commercial and domestic shellfish harvesting. Port Gamble Bay has productive geoduck and shellfish populations and is home to one of the largest remaining herring stocks in the Puget Sound. Herring is a primary food source for Chinook and resident Orcas rely on the Chinook. The Tribe has a hatchery on Little Boston Creek.

Population and Employment As of Sept. 2012, there are 1,234 enrolled tribal members. Over half of tribal members reside on the reservation, and many others live adjacent to the reservation. Major employers for tribal members are: Tribal government, associated agencies/businesses of the Tribal government, individual treaty fishing enterprises, and area businesses.

Facilities All Tribal services are located on the Port Gamble S'Klallam Reservation. The Tribal Center houses a variety of administrative offices, including the Natural Resources annex. The House of Knowledge complex is next to the Tribal Center and includes the Career and Education Center, Longhouse, Elders Center and Little Boston Library. A Veterans Memorial is located on the West side of the Longhouse. The Housing Authority, medical and dental clinics and community health programs are adjacent to and across from the library. Early Childhood Programs and the Cultural Resource Building are in this area as well. At the back of the tribal campus is the Public Safety/Court/Social Services Building.

On the North Side of the Tribal Center is a Youth Center that features spacious areas for recreation, arts and crafts, and computer use as well as a high tech media studio and a covered outdoor patio for youth activities. It also includes two meeting/counseling rooms, staff offices, and a kitchen.

The Tribe's Wellness Programs (Mental Health, Chemical Dependency Treatment and Prevention) are located about two miles away near the south entrance to the Reservation.

Gliding Eagle Marketplace is located at the south entrance to the reservation and has a separate espresso stand. The Point Casino is located on Hansville Highway, just north of Gliding Eagle Marketplace.

Art: Carving | Art: Instructing/Teaching | Food: Fry Bread and Clam Chowder | Food: Clam Bake | Food: Smoked Salmon | Recipes: Clam Chowder | Recipes: Fry Bread


Download Cultural History PDF

The rich cultural heritage of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe is one that we can trace back to our early ancestors. The way we do some traditional things such as "smoking salmon" and "preparing a clam bake" is not much different than it was fifty, one hundred, or two hundred years ago. As close as we are to our traditional cooking methods, some of our artistic heritage has changed. With the influence of "Northern Salish" tribes, our art has evolved over the years to include what is distinctly S'Klallam with the northern art style to create an artistic hybrid. Our language that was once spoken, and was forced to be forgotten, now has new life and new tongues. As we continue on this journey of preserving our past and building our future, we invite you to take part and share in the sounds, textures, colors, and personalities that make us the "S'Klallam People."




The smell of cedar shavings -- who can resist such a rich aroma? When one journeys to our Carvers' shed you not only get to take in the pleasant smell, but you also get to take in the awe inspiring art. You'll see everything from eagles, ravens, canoe paddles and masks . . . to even seeing a man riding on the back of a killer whale. A rich treasure trove to feed one's imagination.

Tribal Carver Floyd Jones

Tribal Carver Floyd Jones


When one views this art you can see all the influences that has made our S'Klallam artists who they are today. It is a rare thing to find any artist who is not affected by the "Northern Salish" style of carving and form-line design. Although this hybrid style is often practiced, there are still some artists who pursue and preserve the original "S'Klallam" style.


Tribal carver Joe Ives working on a mask.

Tribal carver Joe Ives working on a mask.



"How does one learn the art of carving?" To answer this question one must ask the individual. No two stories will ever be the same in how they came to learning this time honored skill. It is a journey that most S'Klallam men take at some point of their lives. It is a journey of dedication and patience, a journey that can give fruit to great personal rewards.


Tribal carver Floyd Jones

Tribal carver Floyd Jones sanding a paddle.


Becoming a carver can take several paths: father to son, apprentice to a relative or just taking a class. The S'Klallam people have little to fear with carvers such as Gerald "Jake" Jones, Gene Jones, Lloyd Fulton, Floyd Jones, Bill Jones and Joe Ives. These men are preserving and passing down not just a skill, they are passing down a way of life. With the "homemade" tools like the ones used long ago, they are passing the torch to a younger generation that will ensure that this art form shall continue to have an important place with the S'Klallam people.


Tribal carver Jake Jones

Tribal carver Jake Jones working on his latest project.



Fry Bread and Clam Chowder

What do "pow-wows," fundraisers, sports tournaments and family "get- togethers" on a reservation all have in common? Chowder and frybread. They are a staple for any large gathering of people. Now we all know that neither of these two foods are traditionally S'Klallam in origin, but each have become a tradition in the last century, as the S'Klallam kitchens have left their tasty imprint on these two adopted foods.


Tribal member Sharon Ives preparing fry bread

Tribal member Sharon Ives preparing fry bread.


The following recipes comes from sisters Cyrene "Bun" Tooze and Sharon Ives. Both have graciously offered their recipes for "S'Klallam Clam Chowder" and "Fry Bread" for you to enjoy. Like many of the kitchens here at "Little Boston" these recipes were hard to get for two reasons: nobody wants to share a family recipe and most cooks like Sharon and "Bun" were taught to cook by taste, not by following recipes in books. So in your decision to prepare these for your family, we hope you all enjoy what we consider a "staple" of S'Klallam cuisine.


Clam Bake "Queeda's Clam bake"

In the S'Klallam community no family gathering is complete without the "clam bake." Regardless of the social function, the clam bake is often the focal point in which outings are planned, and often depending on your family, the way to prepare a clam bake may often differ. Most agree on the basics, the difference mainly will be in the cooking time. The following method was used by "Queeda," as everyone knew her, was a consummate clam bake chef, dedicated to her craft of delivering the best cooked clams to her family, friends and community. Her strict method of preparation is being carried on by her sons and family. Donavan "Doc" Ashworth, her oldest son, has decided to share this method used for a clam bake for all to enjoy:


Laying wet newspapers on the clam bed

Laying wet newspapers on the clam bed.


First in preparing a clam bake, you must try to figure out how many people you are going to feed. This is crucial because you never want to have more people than clams (once you get a taste for fresh steamed clams, no other casserole or salad at your social affair is going to fill the cravings of your guests). But you also don't want to have too many clams, because you could waste a precious commodity.


Enjoying a clam bake at Point Julia

Enjoying a clam bake at Point Julia.


Once you have figured out how many guests are going to be attending, you gather your "clam diggers." In my case this would be my brothers: Darren, Adrian and Vince and some of my aunts and uncles: Bun, Connie, Alice, Poe and Con. More often than not, many of my cousins would join in as well. Gathering the clams is just as enjoyable as eating them, due to having the family around for some "light hearted" work and playing "catch up" on the "family gossip." Depending on the size of the clambake would always tell you how many buckets to dig. As a rule my Mom would try to have at least two buckets of Cockles, and/or littlenecks and one bucket of oysters.

After we have gathered our clams we then put them in an old "onion" sack and tie them off our local dock and leave in the water overnight to spit out any sand they may have ingested. This can also be done by tying off to a boat if you have no fish dock around. Letting the clams soak over night helps ensure that they will be "sand" free at cooking time, thus tasting great.

*The following steps must be done in great speed, but also with great care.

You now should have all the wood off your clam bed. You then add the oysters as the first layer on your hot clam bed. We put the oysters on first to prevent the smaller clams from getting scorched. Make sure to spread your oysters evenly around the bed (be careful; the bed is still very hot). After you have got the oysters down, start adding the clams. Make sure your bucket does not contain very much water as the steam from hitting the rocks can scald your skin. Evenly spread your clams and you should now have a well formed mound.

Now that the clams are down, start adding your wet newspaper. Completely cover the clam bed (a couple of layers will do). Then put on the wet blankets, a couple of layers will do as well. Make sure your bed is now completely covered.


After your clams have been completely covered, time the cooking for exactly 17 minutes, no longer, no less . . . 17 minutes exactly. Remove the blankets and newspapers but be careful. The blankets and newspapers will be hot and remember there will be hot steam following them.

Once you have done all that your guest may now enjoy the tender cooked clams. Remember to have butter and ketchup ready
for dipping.


Dumping Oysters on a hot clam bed.

Dumping Oysters on a hot clam bed.


My mom Queeda had this thing about cooking the clams for exactly 17 minutes. This would always ensure that the clams were just right, they would not be too chewy or raw. She was very passionate about her clam bakes and seafood, and I am more than happy to help keep part of her tradition of the clam bake alive and make it a lasting legacy for my family and now yours.


Tribal member Donavan "Doc" Ashworth

Tribal member Donavan "Doc" Ashworth



Smoked Salmon


Inside tribal member William Jones' smoke shed.

Inside tribal member William Jones' smoke shed.



Much like the clam bakes and chowder recipe you read earlier, smoke salmon in the way that it is prepared is often a family secret. Smoke salmon has been a S'Klallam tradition from our earliest days. The process in which it is prepared is basically the same way our ancestors smoked their fish long ago.


Tribal Member William Jones

William Jones preparing a Salmon.


William Jones has offered to let us share some photos of his process, while deciding to keep the details a secret. Just to let you know that once you have tasted Billy's smoked fish, you'll understand why it has remained a secret with him since he was 12 years-old.

In the following photos we see William with assistance from his mother-in-law "Bun" prepare his salmon for smoking.


Cyrene Tooze and William Jones hanging their salmon in the smoke shed.

Cyrene Tooze and William Jones hanging their salmon in the smoke shed.


Cyrene Tooze prepares the salmon for hanging in the smoke shed.

Cyrene Tooze prepares the salmon for hanging in the smoke shed.


A lot of times the real difference in the way most people smoke salmon is in the wood they use, the rub or brine used on the fish, and the amount of time the salmon is to stay in the smoker. Trying to get anyone to share this with you is like panning for gold. You might get a nugget here and there, but you never hit the jackpot.


William Jones displaying filets of his smoked salmon.

William Jones displaying filets of his smoked salmon.




Clam Chowder

Cyrene "Bun" Tooze

1 lb shelled Clams (could be Little necks, Butter clams or Geoduck)
1 Onion (chopped)
4 Potatoes (chopped)
2 Celery sticks (chopped)
3 Slices of bacon (chopped)
1 Carrot (ground)
2 Cups of milk

Add all ingredients to pot except milk. After all is thickened add milk. Let simmer, make sure you simmer long enough to cook bacon and clams. Salt and pepper to taste.


Tribal member Cyrene Tooze preparing some oysters

Tribal member Cyrene Tooze preparing some oysters.


Fry Bread

Sharon Ives

3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
To add for taste:
Milk, Sugar and Salt. These will be added by your own taste.

Mix dough, kind of sticky, then add more flour as needed. Let dough rest for about 1/2 hour.
Once rested take and flatten small handfuls of dough and fry in hot oil/grease until it is golden brown on both sides.


Sharon Ives cooking her fry bread

Sharon Ives cooking her fry bread

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