Friday, November 28, 2014  

Chairman's Activity Report

Submitted by Leonard Forsman

Suquamish Tribe Gift to North Kitsap School District
The Suquamish Tribal Council presented a gift of $100,000 to the North Kitsap School Board to support improved computer technology and math curriculum in the schools. This gift was part of the Tribe's 2012 General Fund budget and will help soften the deep cuts that the schools are taking in the state budget.

“We're Still Here" Exhibit Opening
Secretary of State Sam Reed hosted the opening of a new exhibit on the Tribes housed in his office in Olympia. Governor Gregoire, Rep. John McCoy (Tulalip), Mel Tonasket (Colville), Willie Frank (Nisqually) and other state and tribal leaders helped open the display on the traditional and modern history of Washington's Tribes. The opening ceremony was held in the State Capitol Rotunda.

Museum Exhibit Text Workshop
Marilyn Wandrey and I joined Janet Smoak, Museum Director, to begin reviewing text for the new Museum exhibit with Storyline, our exhibit designer. This has been a very challenging process and we look forward to completing a unique approach to presenting our history and culture.

Tribal Council Retreat
The annual Tribal Council Retreat was held at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Kamilche, WA. Topics discussed with staff, board members and council included Fisheries, Constitutional Review, Housing, Capital Projects, Road Projects, Port Madison Enterprises, 2013 Tribal Budget, Seafoods Enterprise, Indian Child Welfare, Education, Suquamish Shores, and Organizational Chart Review.

Health and Human Services Self-Governance Workgroup Meeting, Phoenix, AZ
The HHS Self Governance Task Force held its 3rd meeting in Phoenix on the Gila River Indian Reservation. The group produced a concept paper that outlines how a demonstration project might be proposed to Congress to have Tribes compact certain programs within HHS. This proposal is being reviewed for comment by the Tribes and HHS.

Mukilteo Ferry Terminal Improvements
Representatives from Washington State Ferries, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration met with representatives of the Suquamish Tribe to discuss the environmental review process at Mukilteo. The Suquamish Tribe is deeply engaged in this process as a number of impacts to tribal fishing, cultural resources (archaeology and the Treaty Signing site) and habitat could result from this project. The dialogue and consultation has been positive and productive so far.

SR 305 Planning Meeting
A second meeting between the Suquamish Tribe, the City of Poulsbo, the City of Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County, Kitsap Transit and Washington State Department of Transportation was held to discuss improvements to SR 305, especially at the intersection of SR 305 and Suquamish Way. The State announced that funding has been appropriated for studies and design for the traffic improvements at the intersection. The County also announced that they are designing a new left turn lane on Suquamish Way approaching the Casino. Tribal staff and leadership will be monitoring the impacts of these proposed projects.

Slahal Conference
Representatives of the Snoqualmie Tribe hosted a event celebrating the ancient Indian game of Slahal at Seattle Pacific University. Tribal people and archaeologists presented their views and teachings on the importance of this tradition.

North Kitsap Schools Foundation Meeting
Joe Davalos and I met with members of the NK Schools Foundation Board to discuss their mission and plans for the future. The Foundation has been focused on scholarships in the past and would like to expand support to grade schools and school libraries.

Great Peninsula Conservancy Annual Dinner
Welcoming remarks were given at the annual GPC dinner held at Kiana Lodge. The GPC is engaged in acquiring critical lands in the Kitsap/Mason area to preserve salmon and wildlife habitat.

Swinomish Resort Opening
The Swinomish Tribe held a celebratory dinner marking the opening of their new Resort adjoining their casino. The resort has impressive views of the Padilla Bay and the San Juan Islands.

WIGA Quinault
The Washington Indian Gaming Association held their May meeting at the Quinualt Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores. The Quinault detailed some of their plans for the 2013 canoe journey hosting.

Forterra Breakfast
Forterra, formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy, held their annual breakfast fundraiser in Seattle at the Washington Trade and Convention Center. Ron Allen of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Forterra works to conserve lands for recreation and habitat protection.

U of W Longhouse Meeting
The University of Washington is currently designing Phase 1 of the U of W Longhouse project, which the elders committee named the "Intellectual House." The first phase will consist of a gathering hall, kitchen, restrooms and an office space. The committee is still raising money for the second phase.

Navy League Senior Enlisted Welcome
The Suquamish Canoe Family welcomed the Navy League at their annual dinner at Kiana Lodge. Thanks to Vincent, Jasmine, Sequoyah and Nigel for their help.

Bainbridge Island Historical Society Cultural Presentation
Dennis Lewarch and I presented a lecture and slideshow on the culture and history of the Suquamish Tribe to the BI Historical Society at Islandwood. The event was "sold out" and we received good feedback on the presentation, which combines geology, archaeology, cultural descriptions and history related to the Suquamish Tribe's ancient connections to the Kitsap Peninsula, CentralPuget Sound and beyond.

Board of Geographic Names
The Board of Geographic Names meeting was held in Olympia in mid-May. This has been a challenging, yet interesting assignment as the Board receives requests for names for unnamed places and land features, for already named places and for corrections of names. These are often controversial and require careful thought and research.

Indian Education Celebration
The Suquamish Tribe and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction co-hosted a celebration of statewide accomplishments in Indian Education at the House of Awakened Culture. Thanks to the Suquamish Canoe Family for bringing the gifts and Supt. Randy Dorn in the canoe, George Adams (Nooksack) for acting as emergency skipper, Mable and all the cooks for the good lunch and Sacred Water
for the songs

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