Tribal Government

The Squaxin Island Tribe is governed by a Tribal Council consisting of seven members who are elected during annual general body meetings and serve staggered terms.

Tribal Council meetings are held at least twice a month, and are open to all enrolled Tribal members. During these meetings,the Tribal Council establishes all laws, rules and regulations governing the Squaxin Island Reservation. They also make decisions and negotiate with other governmental agencies and organizations for the benefit of all Tribal members.

For example, the Tribe works cooperatively with the State of Washington as co-managers of natural resources such as salmon and shellfish. Tribal members participate in fisheries conducted in Usual and Accustomed areas with permits obtained by the Tribe following Tribal policies, regulations and restrictions and in accordance with Tribal/State agreements and federal guidelines.

Squaxin Island was one of the first 30 tribes in the nation that entered into the Self Governance Demonstration Project with the federal government. Now the tribe establishes its own priorities and budgets for funds previously administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The Executive and Deputy Executive Directors work to ensure all departments are performing their duties in accordance with the wishes of the Tribal Council and the General Body. These departments include Community Development (DCD), Cultural Resources, Family Services, Health Clinic, Human Resources (HR), Information Systems (DIS), Tu Ha’ Buts Learning Center (TLC), Legal, Natural Resources (NR), Planning and Public Safety. Each department is guided by one director, and staff work under the direct supervision of program managers.