July 10, 2012

Tulalip Tribes of Washington


The Tulalip Tribes of Washington  is a federally recognized tribe of South and Central Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. They include Duwamish, Samish, Skagit, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Stillaguamish and Suiattle peoples.

Official Tribal Name: Tulalip Tribes of Washington

Address: 6406 Marine Dr, Tulalip, WA 98271
Phone: 1-800-869-8287
Email: Contact Form

Official Website: www.tulaliptribes-nsn.gov

Recognition Status: Federally Recognized

Traditional Name / Traditional Meaning:

Common Name / Meaning of Common Name: Tulalip comes from Snohomish and means “a bay shaped like a purse.” 

Alternate names / Alternate spellings:

Formerly known as the Tulalip Tribes of the Tulalip Reservation

Name in other languages:

Region: Northwest Coast

State(s) Today: Washington

Traditional Territory:

Confederacy: Salish  

Treaties: Treaty of Point Elliott signed on January 22, 1855

Reservation: Tulalip Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land
Land Area:  22,000 acres
Tribal Headquarters:  Tulalip, Washington
Time Zone:  Pacific

Population at Contact:

Registered Population Today: As of 2004, the Tulalilp Tribes had 3,611 members.

Tribal Enrollment Requirements:

Must be born to a Tulalip Tribal Member – at the time of the applicant’s birth the parent had to have been enrolled with the Tulalip Tribe.

The Tribal member’s parent had to reside on the Tulalip Reservation for at least 12 continuous months at anytime prior to the birth of the applicant and be able to prove it.

Unless adopted by non-tribal parents, they must apply before they are 25 years of age.

There is no blood quantum requirement.

Genealogy Resources:


Charter:  Approved by Executive Order of US President Ulysses S. Grant on 22 January 1873. Organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The Tulalip Constitution and Bylaws were approved January 24, 1936, and a charter ratified October 3, 1936. 
Name of Governing Body:  General Council
Number of Council members:   3 Board Members, plus Executive Officers.
Dates of Constitutional amendments: 
Executive Officers:  Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer


Language Classification: Salishian => Coast Salish => Central Salish => Lushootseed

Language Dialects:


  • Skagit (a.k.a. Skaǰət)
  • Snohomish (a.k.a. Sduhubš)


  • Duwamish-Suquamish (a.k.a. Dxʷduʔabš)
  • Puyallup (a.k.a. Spuyaləpubš)
  • Nisqually (a.k.a. Sqʷaliʔabš)

Number of fluent Speakers:


The language is written in the Latin script and a dictionary and grammar have been published.


Bands, Gens, and Clans

Related Tribes:

Traditional Allies:

Traditional Enemies:

Ceremonies / Dances:

Modern Day Events & Tourism:

In August 2011, the tribe opened the 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2) Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve. The center includes museum exhibits of Tulalip history and artifacts, classrooms, archaeological repository, a longhouse, and research library; attached is a 50 acres (20 ha) nature preserve.

The tribes host numerous annual events, including Treaty Days, typically in January to commemorate the signing of the Point Elliot Treaty on 22 January 1855; First Salmon Ceremony, to bless the fishermen; Winter Dancing; and a Veteran’s Pow Wow during the first weekend of every June.

Arts and Crafts:

Arts and crafts consisted primarily of basket weaving and carvings. There were several kinds of baskets. The hard basket was used for cooking food. Water and heated rocks were put into the basket with the food to be cooked. The clam basket was an open weave basket that was used when clam digging, so that the clams could be washed in the basket. Berry baskets were made of cedar root and used for berry picking. Some baskets were worn as hats.


Tanned deerskin was used for shirts, leggings and capes. Clothes of fur and capes of bearskin or sealskin were also made. Cedar bark clothing was made from prepared cedar bark. Caps of basketry, wolf, otter, beaver or bear skins were worn. Blankets were highly prized, and were made from mountain goat wool or wooly dog hair. They were made with carded, spun wool, which was then woven on a standing loom. Sometimes, soft duck down feathers or fireweed were added. Blankets were used for sleeping or worn as capes.

Salish Legends


The Tulalip tribes relied primarily on fishing and shellfish as their primary food sources, but they also hunted deer and elk and other small mammals and birds, and seasonally foraged for roots, berries, and medicinal plants. Cattail tubers were roasted similar to a potato, and cattail reeds were also used as a material for home furnishings and temporary shelters.

They harvested five kinds of salmon (spring, humpback, silver, dog, and sockeye), steelhead, sturgeon, smelt, herring, flounder, trout, cod, rock cod, and skate. Shellfish included clams, oysters, barnacles and crabs. Fish eggs from salmon and herring, and bird eggs from pheasant, lark and duck were used.

Berries included salmonberries, huckleberries, elderberries, salal berries, blackcaps, blackberries, wild strawberries, and wild raspberries. Brake fern, wood fern, dandelion, cattail, camas, and tiger lily were favorite greens, bulbs and tubers.

Economy Today:

Within the reservation limits is Quil Ceda Village, a business park and municipality that provides jobs and tax income for the reservation. Situated alongside Interstate 5, it is home to the reservation’s first casino, Quil Ceda Creek Casino; the second, the $72 million Tulalip Resort Casino, and a $130 million associated 12-story luxury hotel. In addition, the municipality has a popular 100-store outlet mall.

The Tulalip Tribes own and operate Tulalip Bingo, Quil Ceda Deli, Tulalip Casino, Canoes Carvery, Cedars Cafe, Eagles Buffet, Tulalip Bay Restaurant, Journeys East, The Draft Sports Bar & Grill, Tulalip Resort Casino, Quil Ceda Creek Nightclub and Casino, Torch Grill, and Q Burgers, all located in Tulalip, Washington.

Of the 3,200 employees working for Tulalip Tribes, more than two-thirds are working in the Tribes’ business enterprises: Tulalip Casino/Resort/Bingo, Leasing, Tulalip Broadband, Tulalip Marina, Tulalip Liquor & Smoke Shop and the Quil Ceda Village Business Park.


The Tulalip Tribes had permanent villages consisting of Long Houses built from cedar planks split from tree trunks and smoothed with an adze. Size of long houses varied from 100 to about 200 feet long. Long house posts were decorated with carvings. They had a shed type roof sloping from one side of house to the other, with adjustable boards over the fire areas to control the escape of smoke. Fires used for heat and cooking were located along the sides near seating platforms, and shared by two to three families.

Long houses were shared by several related families. Some longhouses were divided across into rooms with doors that opened directly outside. Platforms ran along the sides for seating and shelves for storage were located above the platforms, reached by ladders. Cattail mats hung on walls for insulation, were put on floors for seating, hung as partitions, and used for padded mattresses. There was an open isle down the middle of the longhouses for walking.

Temporary mat houses were primarily used in the summers when traveling on hunting or fishing expeditions. Cattail mats were overlapped over pole supports to make a quick waterproof shelter.


The primary mode of transportation was by foot or canoe. They had several types of canoes, distinguished by the shape of their hull and size.

The Trolling Canoe:

  • Carries two to three people;
  • Primarily used for hunting and fishing;
  • Considered to be a swift canoe.

The One Man Canoe:

  • Designed for one person;
  • A swift canoe;
  • Light enough to be carried over distances;
  • Used for fishing and hunting ducks.

The Large Canoe (The West Coast Canoe):

  • Held six to 15 people;
  • Painted black on the outside and red on the inside;
  • Primarily used for traveling.

The Shovel-Nose Canoe:

  • Fast canoe with a flat bottom;
  • Bow and stern alike;
  • Commonly used for river travel and fishing.

Religion & Spiritual Beliefs:

Burial Customs:

Wedding Customs


The Marysville School District serves both the reservation and the city. To accommodate a growing population, in 2008 it opened three new schools, built of prefab, modular units that operate and look like traditional construction, at its site on the reservation. This large campus is now called the Marysville Secondary Campus; it contains Heritage High School, Marysville Arts and Technology High School, and a Middle School. The two high schools share a gym and commons center.


Famous Duwamish
Famous Snohomish
Famous Snoqualmie
Famous Skagit
Famous Suiattle
Famous Samish
Famous Stillaguamish

Catastrophic Events:

1833 – Possible date of Camano Head falling and burying a Snohomish village below it, causing a large number of deaths.

1916 – Destruction of fish habitat begins through logging, dredging, agriculture, industry and the creation of dams, sewage systems and housing developments.

Tribe History:

In the News 

Tulalip School Shooter’s Father Gets Two Years in Prison
First Salmon Ceremony welcomes the returning salmon

Further Reading:


US Tribes T to V
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