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Squaxin Island Tribes - Washington (U.S.)

Native American

Last modified: 2012-11-17 by rick wyatt
Keywords: squaxin island tribes | washington | native american |
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[Squaxin Island Tribes - Washington flag] image by Donald Healy, 31 January 2008

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The Band

[Squaxin Island Tribes - Washington map]
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy

Squaxin Island Tribes - Washington

Squaxin Island is located in the southernmost part of Puget Sound, directly north of Washington State’s capital, Olympia. It is the site of the Squaxin Island Reservation. This small reservation of less than 1,000 acres is home to several Tribes including the Nisqually, Steeliacoom and the Squaxin Island Tribe. The resident population of the reserve is about 1,000 people. All resident Tribes belong to the Coastal Salish group of Native peoples just like many other Washington Indians.

These Tribes have resided in the greater Puget Sound area for over a thousand years and have relied upon the resources of the Sound and the surrounding forests for sustenance.

© Donald Healy 2008

The Flag

The area around Squaxin Island and its bounty are celebrated on the flag and seal of the Squaxin Island Tribes. Like many other tribes throughout the United States, the Squaxin flag is simply a white flag upon which is placed the seal of the Tribe. That seal is a light blue circle within which are found an outline of the Squaxin Island, a mountain  representing the Cascades, two sea birds in flight, a salmon and a tribesman rowing a distinctive northwest-style canoe. Upon the island is placed its name in black letters. Both the salmon and the canoe attest to the skill of the Tribes at fishing and to the importance of fishing, especially the importance of salmon to the existence of the people of Squaxin Island.

Surrounding the seal is a ring bearing the names of the resident Tribes in their own languages. The spelling of the Squaxin Island Tribe, for instance is spelled "Squawskin" and the Nisqually, "Nuschtsatl". The names appear in black letters while a thin black border sets off the ring of names from the flag itself.

[Thanks to Harry Oswald of Portland, Oregon, for obtaining a photograph of the flag during a meeting of the Associated Tribes of Northwest Indians.]

© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 31 January 2008