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Tulalip Tribes of Washington
Bandera Tulalip.png
Tulalip tribal flag
Total population
(2,500–2,800 enrolled members[1][2])
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Washington)
English, Lushootseed[1]
traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
other Duwamish,[3] Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Suiattle, Samish, and Stillaguamish people[1]

The Tulalip Tribes of Washington /tˈllɪp/, formerly known as the Tulalip Tribes of the Tulalip Reservation, is a federally recognized tribe of Duwamish,[3] Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Suiattle, Samish, and Stillaguamish people.[1] They are South and Central Coast Salish peoples of indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.[4] Their tribes are located in the mid-Puget Sound region of Washington.


The term Tulalip comes from Snohomish and means "a bay shaped like a purse." It was used in 1855 to describe the tribes who joined together on the Tulalip Reservation.[3]


A Tulalip family in front of their home on the reservation in 1916

The Tulalip Indian Reservation was established by the Treaty of Point Elliot in 1855 and by Executive Order of US President Ulysses S. Grant on 22 January 1873.[2] The reservation is 22,000-acres large and lies on Port Susan in western Snohomish County, adjacent to the western border of the city of Marysville. It has a land area of 35.3 sq mi (91.3 km², or 22,567 acres) and a 2000 census population of 9,246 persons residing within its boundaries. Its largest community is Tulalip Bay.

The Tulalip people settled onto reservation lands after signing the Point Elliott Treaty with the former Washington Territory on January 22, 1855. The reservation now comprises the western half of the Marysville-Tulalip community, separated by the later construction of Interstate 5. Marysville is an incorporated city and lies east of the freeway.

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.[5]

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.[6] In addition, the municipality has a popular 100-store outlet mall.

Hibulb Cultural Center and Museum

In August 2011, the tribe opened the 23,000 square feet (2,100 m2) Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve.[7] 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.[8]



The Tulalip Tribes are headquartered in Tulalip, Washington. The tribe is governed by a seven-member, democratically-elected General Council. The current tribal administration is as follows:

  • Replica of a traditional longhouse interior at the Hibulb Cultural Center.
    Chairman: Melvin Sheldon, Jr.
  • Vice Chairman: Glen Gobin
  • Treasurer: Les Parks
  • Secretary: Marie Zackuse
  • Boardmember: Bonnie Juneau
  • Boardmember: Herman Williams, Sr.
  • Boardmember: Theresa Sheldon.[9]

Enrollment to the Tulalip Tribes does not require a minimum blood quantum; however, membership is based on the 1 January 1935 Tulalip census roll and those people descended from people on that roll, whose parents were residents of the Tulalip Reservation at the time of their birth.

Pilot Project of VAWA 2013[edit]

Since the Supreme Court's 1978 majority opinion in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, tribal courts were not allowed to have jurisdiction over a non-Indian person. Through the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) signed into law on March 7, 2013 by President Barack Obama, tribal courts will be allowed to exercise special criminal jurisdiction over certain crimes of domestic and dating violence. This new law generally takes effect on March 7, 2015, but also authorizes a voluntary "Pilot Project" to allow certain tribes to begin exercising special jurisdiction beginning Feb. 20, 2014.[10] Three tribes were selected for this Pilot Project:[11] the Pascua Yaqui Tribe (Arizona), the Tulalip Tribes of Washington,[12] and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Oregon).


English and Lushootseed are spoken by the tribes.[1] Lushootseed is a Central Salish language. The language is written in the Latin script and a dictionary and grammar have been published.[13]

Economic development[edit]

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.[14]


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.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Who We Are." Tulalip Tribes. Retrieved 25 Sept 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Tulalip Tribe." Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. Retrieved 25 Sept 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Pritzker 198
  4. ^ Pritzker 203
  5. ^ Christina Siderius, "Marysville schools defying the portable stereotype", Seattle Times, 2 April 2008
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Terry Richard (October 1, 2014), "Tulalip Hibulb Cultural Center features 'Coast Salish Canoes' exhibit", The Oregonian 
  8. ^ Hibulb Cultural Center informational brochure (PDF), retrieved 2015-04-26 
  9. ^ "Board of Directors." Tulalip Tribes. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  10. ^ Department of Justice, Tribal Justice and Safety
  11. ^ Department of Justice, "Justice Department Announces Three Tribes to Implement Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction Under VAWA 2013"
  12. ^ Tulalip Press Release
  13. ^ "Lushootseed." Ethnologue. Retrieved 25 Sept 2013.
  14. ^ "Washington Indian Casinos by Tribes." 500 Nations. Retrieved 25 Sept 2013.


  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°04′40″N 122°16′15″W / 48.07778°N 122.27083°W / 48.07778; -122.27083