Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe

“S’Klallam” is a Salish term for “The Strong People.”

Our Tribal history shows we have always been self-reliant and determined to forge our own path for our future generations. In 1855, the S’Klallam leaders signed a treaty with the Federal government with the understanding that they would always be able to hunt, fish, and gather in their “usual and accustomed” grounds. 

As increasing numbers of non-Indian settlers began to arrive in the area desiring the same abundant lands and waters that were so important to the S’Klallam people, the S’Klallam people living in the Dungeness area decided that to survive, they had to adopt a new value system that included property ownership.

In 1874, under the leadership of Tribal citizen Lord James Balch, they pooled $500 in gold coins and purchased the 210-acres along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, now called Jamestown. This provided a geographical center for group identity and independence and was the start of the Jamestown S’Klallam community.

Farming aquatic food sources to improve cultivating and harvesting fin and shellfish for both consumption and economic self-reliance is one important way in the 21st century our community exercises our treaty rights.

Our vision is to preserve and enhance the Jamestown S’Klallam Nation’s historical and cultural identity as a strong, proud and self-reliant community while protecting and sustaining our tribal sovereignty, self-governing authority, homelands, and treaty rights.

Excerpt from Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe – The Strong People – Blyn, WA (jamestowntribe.org)