Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Snoqualmie Tribe News
  On-line since 2011 - Updated January 2, 2014
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Snoqualmie: Schools foundation's lofty goal is something to aspire to - I couldn’t help but get caught up in Susan Kingsbury-Comeau’s passion when, in the wake of the Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation’s annual fundraiser luncheon, the vice president and luncheon chairwoman shared with me how the group blew through its donation goal, again, netting a whopping $88,000 take. What helped take it over the top were two big donations totaling $30,000, from Microsoft and the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe.

January 2014

Snoqualmie: Exchange between Snoqualmie Tribe’s crafters, Peruvian artists adds new ideas for sister cities - This fall, the newest bonds to link Snoqualmie with its sister community in South America started to gel in a carving exchange between the visiting Peruvian artists and the craftsmen at the Tribe’s Snoqualmie carving barn.

December 2013

Snoqualmie: Tribe hires new general manager - The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe on Friday, Oct. 18, announced Jerry Lamb as the Tribe’s new General Manager. Lamb was hired in October 2012 as the economic development director and was later appointed as the interim tribal administrator in 2013. He is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre Tribe in Montana and has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the University of Montana.

Snoqualmie: You can help restore riparian forest in Carnation - The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, with multiple partners, has begun a riparian forest restoration project in Carnation, and is inviting the community to join them, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 9.

October 2013

Snoqualmie: Williams enters freeplay battle with Aristocrat, Bally and IGT - The Snoqualmie Tribe has been trialling the Williams online casino and is almost ready to go live across all the leading interactive channels. The Play4Fun casino is available on the internet and on Android devices and Williams is expecting approval from Apple for use on IoS any day now.

August 2013

Snoqualmie: Tribe celebrates election - A record number of enrolled tribal members turned out May 11 for the Snoqualmie Tribe’s annual meeting and Tribal Council election, which was held at the ballroom of Snoqualmie Casino. More than 200 tribal members attended and participated in the day’s events. More tribal members attended and voted at this year’s annual meeting than at any time in the past, according to a press release from the tribe.

Snoqualmie: Tribe unveils two new trails - After five years in the making, the Snoqualmie Tribe unveiled the Traditional Knowledge Trail and Rain Garden Landscape path June 8.

Snoqualmie: Beautiful new trails are worth discovering - Two very exciting, educational trails have opened recently on Snoqualmie tribal land, and we cannot say enough about them. Neither trail, which took about five years to create, is about endurance or challenging yourself physically.

Snoqualmie: US tribe’s involvement in Fiji casino unclear - There is uncertainty over whether a Native American tribe is still associated with the development of Fiji’s first ever casino. The government announced in December 2011 its decision to grant an exclusive casino licence to the American corporation, One Hundred Sands, in partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe. But the partnership has been challenged by a Chief who sent a letter to the Fiji government and the developer last year describing the deal as unauthorised as the tribe was embroiled in a leadership dispute.

Snoqualmie: Master carver John Mullen to create a canoe, show ages-old craft at Fall City - Come and listen to native drumming and storytelling by John Mullen of the Snoqualmie Tribe. Participants can also watch Mullen, a master carver, demonstrate carving techniques and try out carving on a small cedar canoe. For the past 13 years, Mullen has dedicated himself to reviving and rediscovering the arts of the Snoqualmie Tribe.

June 2013

Snoqualmie: Meadowbrook, Camp Korey, STEM, pets get Snoqualmie Tribe fund help - The Snoqualmie Tribe Fund recently awarded donations to 113 organizations following its winter application cycle. For this funding cycle, 83 grant recipients were new, and 44 of the funded organizations are located in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Snoqualmie: Election season shapes up after candidates file - Current hospital commissioner Gene Pollard, whose term ends in 2017, has decided to run against incumbent commissioner Kevin Hauglie. Pollard, 78, said he is unhappy with the board’s decision to accept $14 million from the Snoqualmie Tribe for the old hospital building and property, when it had originally agreed to pay $30 million. He voted no on accepting the new agreement.

May 2013

Snoqualmie: Kokanee release celebrates species recovery - Marking the fourth year of a successful effort, The Kokanee Work Group, along with the cities of Issaquah and Sammamish, held its annual kokanee fry release last week with the help of area fourth-graders. As students and volunteers lowered small fry into the creek, members of the Snoqualmie Tribe performed “The Rabbit Song” to send the fish along their way.

Snoqualmie: Valley schools get $25,000 grant from Tribe for math, science - The Snoqualmie Tribe recently awarded the Snoqualmie Valley School District a $25,000 grant for training teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education at the high school’s new freshman campus, scheduled to open this fall.

April 2013

Snoqualmie: Tribe gives casino plan another look - The Snoqualmie Tribal Council is taking a fresh look at the tribe’s possible casino expansion, including the idea of a 20-story hotel next to its casino. Consideration of the development comes at a time when the tribe is struggling with other issues.

Snoqualmie: Who's a Snoqualmie? Weekend gathering looks at amending the tribal constitution - Solving the question of who belongs to the Snoqualmie Tribe has become an important issue among many of its members. Working toward that solution, a group of people claiming the required one-eighth blood quantum called a meeting of the tribe's General Council to discuss the issue, Sunday, March 10, at the Preston Community Center.

March 2013

Snoqualmie: Casino heading into their fifth year - Set amidst the majestic backdrop of the Snoqualmie Valley is what has become an unexpected gem, the Snoqualmie Casino. Snoqualmie is heading into its fifth year of operation and is the premier casino in the Northwest.

Snoqualmie: The future meets the past in Snoqualmie - Members of the Snoqualmie Tribe taught their centenarian carving art to the students Feb. 6. Students mixed their attempts at carving hearts or their initials with wide-eyed stares at the felled tree trunks.

February 2013

Muckleshoot-Snoqualmie: Roundabout raises many questions - A new roundabout near the Snoqualmie Falls could mean more development opportunities for the area and much safer driving conditions, but not everyone is thrilled with the project.

Snoqualmie: Remembrance held for Mitch Dailey, 59, important Snoqualmie Tribe ally - Mitchell “Mitch” Dailey, an important ally of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, has died at the age of 59.

January 2013

Snoqualmie: Who belongs to Snoqualmie Tribe? 'This is a mess' - A look at original documents at the National Archives alerts a researcher that records of family lineage used to claim enrollment at the Snoqualmie Tribe are unreliable.

Snoqualmie: Tribe fund is accepting winter grant applications - The Snoqualmie Tribe Fund is accepting applications from charitable organizations in Washington state, according to a press release. The deadline for applications is Jan. 31. All applying organizations must have proof of nonprofit status and be located within the state.

Snoqualmie: Say no to the hotel at Snoqualmie Casino - I would like to respond to the audacity of proposing an addition of a 20-story hotel at the Snoqualmie Casino. It’s not enough that we have to put up with the traffic, the debris and garbage that can be seen along exit 27 as far as the underpass and North Bend Way, but also the incredible noise during the “summer concerts” being held in a parking lot.

Snoqualmie: Casino plan for hotel, growth draws mixed reaction - Even before a formal announcement of plans to expand the Snoqualmie Casino and build a 20-story hotel, the idea has run into resistance from some tribal members and the city next door. A proposal outlined by Snoqualmie Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson to the Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association last week calls for a new 340-room hotel, conference center, larger casino and theater, and two new parking structures, with construction beginning as soon as next summer.

Snoqualmie: Tokul roundabout tit for tat? Tribe seeks scrutiny for Snoqualmie Falls road fix - While the Snoqualmie Tribe’s hotel expansion plan is drawing scrutiny from Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, that city’s upcoming Tokul roundabout is drawing notes of concern from the tribe’s leaders. Tribal council members urged “caution and care” in the roundabout project, which revamps Highway 202 and could pave the way for new development near the Snoqualmie nation’s most sacred place.

Snoqualmie: Scale of Tribe's hotel expansion plan is up to the members - Whether it's 20 stories or a boutique lodge, members of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe will determine the size and scope of a proposed hotel expansion at the Snoqualmie Casino. After airing plans for the hotel at a Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association dinner on Nov. 29, Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson confirmed the tribe's hotel intentions. However, he says the size of the venue is still very much fluid.

December 2012

Snoqualmie: Casino plan for hotel, growth draws mixed reaction - Even before a formal announcement of plans to expand the Snoqualmie Casino and build a 20-story hotel, the idea has run into resistance from some tribal members and the city next door. A proposal outlined by Snoqualmie Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson to the Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association last week calls for a new 340-room hotel, conference center, larger casino and theater, and two new parking structures, with construction beginning as soon as next summer.

October 2012

Snoqualmie: Tribe elects leadership - The Snoqualmie Tribe, which hasn’t held an election since 2010 because of an enrollment dispute, now has a newly elected Tribal Council. “It’s no secret that there had been some internal political controversies,” Matt Mattson, the tribal administrator, said. “But, the Aug. 25 election was an orderly transition of power.” The Tribal Council has many new faces because three members were not re-elected and three chose to not run again.

Snoqualmie: New council assumes leadership of Snoqualmie Tribe; Chiefs stay - Seven new council members were elected and one incumbent, Jake Repin, was re-elected, in the first election the tribe has held since 2010. The new 10-member council includes Repin, Lois Sweet Dorman, Sunny Elaine Clear and Alisa Marie Culp Burley, each with four-year terms; Rhonda Neufang, Robert de los Angeles, Steve de los Angeles, and Melynda Davis, each with three-year terms, and sitting members Shelley Burch and Nina Repin, whose terms expire in 2014. Burch had been the council chairwoman and Repin had been the Secretary. Katherine Barker is an honorary lifetime member.

Snoqualmie: Tribe hosts first Youth Health Camp - The Snoqualmie Tribe Health & Human Services departments hosted a Tribal Youth Health and Fitness Camp in August at North Bend’s historic Camp Waskowitz. Rhonda Neufang, a Snoqualmie Tribe member and Tribe employee organized the camp, as well as the leaders within the Tribe’s Health and Human Services departments.

September 2012

Snoqualmie: Hatchery activities abound at 75th anniversary - Ray Mullen, a Snoqualmie Tribe member, plans to lead a ceremony to welcome salmon back to Issaquah Creek after a long migration to the Pacific Ocean and back. Participants can also watch John Mullen, a Snoqualmie Tribe carver, demonstrate carving techniques and they can try out carving.

July 2012

Snoqualmie: Ginny Tyler dies at 86; voice actress was Disney legend - As one of the "Disneyland Storytellers," Ginny Tyler narrated such records as "Bambi" and "Babes in Toyland" and would become known for voicing animal characters. In one better-known role, she gave voice to Polynesia the Parrot, who helps teach Rex Harrison to talk to the animals in the 1967 film "Dr. Dolittle." Tyler died July 13 of natural causes at a nursing home in Issaquah, Wash., said her son, Ty Fenton. She was 86. In official Disney accounts, her penchant for storytelling and ability to mimic animal sounds was traced to her Native American roots. An ancestor, who was a chief of the Snoqualmie Tribe, traded his two young daughters to a white woman for a piece of property after his wife left him, according to her son. One of the girls was her great-grandmother.

Snoqualmie: Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, Tribe ink early, discounted buyout - The Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District and the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe last week inked a deal for an early payment of the tribe’s hospital purchase, discounted by nearly half the amount. The tribe originally purchased the property in 2007 for $30 million, after the Tribe’s general membership authorized the purchase. The tribe will make a one-time payment of $14 million, on or before July 31, for the property.

June 2012

Snoqualmie: Dueling tribal meetings: Sitting council, members' tribunal call for general gatherings - The Snoqualmie Tribe will discuss its blood-quantum audit at a general membership meeting in June, just as a dissident tribunal holds gatherings aimed at electing a new council. The tribal council called for a general membership meeting on Saturday, June 23. That meeting will discuss the tribe’s recent enrollment audit, the base roll for membership, and the voting list. Meanwhile, a six-member group calling itself the Emergency Interim Tribal Council has called for a general tribal meeting on June 2, demanding council elections. A council election has not been held since 2010.

Snoqualmie: Stalemate puts Snoqualmie Tribe at risk of federal takeover - The terms of office have expired for most members of the Snoqualmie Tribal Council, and an enrollment audit still in the works has revealed the chairman of the tribe and two members of its council aren't qualified under the tribe's constitution to hold office or vote. Stan Speaks, Northwest regional director for the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, said the tribe is perilously close to a takeover by his agency if it can't muster the ability to hold an election.

May 2012

Snoqualmie: Hospital construction gets delayed by red tape - Site grading for the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital is completed, and architects and contractors are waiting in the wings for the go-ahead from the state, but a delay is holding up construction. The district sold the current hospital building and land to the Snoqualmie Tribe in July 2008 for $30 million, and the tribe is allowing the hospital to continue to operate in the building. The tribe is currently paying $100,000 a month and will pay the remaining balance in a balloon payment May 1, 2015, expected to come in at about $29 million.

Snoqualmie: Mattson to give Tribe economic briefing at Chamber lunch - Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson is the keynote speaker at the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce's May luncheon. Set for noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, at at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, the luncheon will see Mattson give an update into the Snoqualmie Tribe's economic activities in the Valley. The Tribe is the region's largest employer.

Snoqualmie: Sacred games: Snoqualmie, tribal leaders speak out on continental connection - Whatever other titles he may hold, Snoqualmie tribal member Marvin Kempf is a born storyteller. Creation, the monster of the mountain, and battling giants, are all easily-recalled legends from his culture, and ones he loves to share. His favorite story right now, though, is about a people whose history and culture extends back 13,000 years, farther than Judaism, farther than Chinese culture. The people are his own, linked from coast to coast and from the top to the bottom of North America. The best part of the story? It’s completely true, with physical evidence to prove it. A 13,000 year-old pair of sticks carved from mammoth bone, and a large sharp stone knife, or Clovis point, found near Wenatchee several years ago, are the proof, and the link to tribes all over the country, he says.

Snoqualmie: Tribe member celebrates Mother Joseph Day with stories, songs - John Mullen, a member of the Snoqualmie Tribe, has been a carver and sort of spokesman and educator for the tribe for about 11 years. In addition to spreading and teaching the Snoqualmie tradition of carving, Mullen also carries on the tribe’s tradition of singing and drumming.

April 2012

Snoqualmie: Major Snoqualmie Tribe donation helps Wildcat football - Snoqualmie Indian Tribe gave Mount Si's Wildcat Booster Football Club a big boost recently with a sponsorship of $10,000. The donation helps pay for player development, training for coaches, new equipment and uniforms, academic assistance, technology improvements, and increased playing opportunities for students, said Booster Club president Jeff Mitchell.

Snoqualmie: Tribe hosts Earth Day event at Sandy Cove Park - The Snoqualmie Tribe is hosting an Earth Day event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20 at Sandy Cove Park, 7970 Falls Ave. S.E., in downtown Snoqualmie. Learn more by contacting Lisamari Emery at or 888-6551, ext. 2103.

March 2012

Snoqualmie: Luck be an ashtray tonight - According to, after the Washington smoking ban became law, “the revenues of 30 of the largest nontribal casinos in the state, which had previously been increasing in excess of 13 percent per year, suddenly fell 14 percent.” The Snoqualmie Casino boasts a much-appreciated nonsmoking slot machine area and each of its restaurants, as well as the Poker Room, are nonsmoking. “Are there nonsmoking areas?” is even listed as a frequently asked question on the casino’s website. Casino officials are aware of changing societal norms when it comes to who smokes where.

Snoqualmie: State auditor concerned about hospital’s debt - When the state auditor’s office first examined the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District’s 2010 books, it was given a clean bill of health in November. But when the Legislature required a second opinion, the prognosis didn’t look as rosy. The district sold the current hospital building and land to the Snoqualmie Tribe in July 2008 for $30 million, and the tribe is allowing the hospital to continue to operate in the building. The tribe is currently paying $100,000 a month and will pay the remaining balance in a balloon payment May 1, 2015, expected to come in at about $29 million, according to the audit.

January 2012

Snoqualmie: One Hundred Sands, Ltd Accepts Exclusive Gaming License from Fiji Government - One Hundred Sands, a Fiji based firm plans to build a $290 million Luxury Casino Resort and Convention Center on Denarau Island. One Hundred Sands plans to employ 600 to 800 local residents. One Hundred Sands is partnering with the Snoqualmie Tribe from the State of Washington and Seventh Generation LLC, a Native American company, in order to enhance its casino gaming experience, the development of social and economic initiates to benefit local Fijians, and to further develop cultural and tribal ties between Native Americans and Fijians.

December 2011

Snoqualmie: Tribe considering $260 million Fiji casino partnership - For $1 million and some sharing of its expertise, the Snoqualmie Tribe could take part-ownership of a $290 million luxury resort and casino operation in Fiji. In July, according to Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson, the tribal council had just finalized eight priorities for the coming year, and economic development through diversification was high on the list. Within a few months, Donald Sampson, executive director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, met with the Snoqualmie council to suggest the partnership with One Hundred Sands as an investment opportunity.

Snoqualmie-Jamestown S'Klallam: Tribe's Fiji resort deal controversial to some, a surprise to others - "It's hurting our tribe; it's pretty sad," said Kanium Ventura, elected to the tribal council in September 2007. "They are supposed to take this to the membership," Ventura said. "There is no benefits for us at Fiji; I don't think it will make much." Some Washington state tribal leaders were surprised by the news. "In Fiji! Wow. That's interesting," said W. Ron Allen, chairman of the executive committee of the Washington Indian Gaming Association and chairman of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe.

Snoqualmie: American wins right to open Fiji casinos - An American multimillionaire has won the right to build a large casino on Fiji's Denarau Island, one of the country's main tourist destinations for New Zealanders. The license will be held by Claunch's One Hundred Sands Ltd, which will run the casino with the Snoqualmie Tribe from Washington state and Seventh Generation LLC, a Native American company.

Snoqualmie: Fijian Government Issues First-ever Exclusive Gaming License - Consistent with the Bainimarama Government's efforts to bring dynamic investment to its quickly modernising nation, this exclusive gaming license will further invigorate the Fijian economy; produce upwards of 800 jobs for local residents; add another segment to successful tourism industry; and increase Fiji's capacity to welcome guests to visit the country.

Snoqualmie: Public outcry puts elk hunt on hold at Snoqualmie Ridge golf course - "Sustainable and low-impact development should include ways to co-exist with wildlife," Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson stated. "The controlled hunt on the TPC golf course is counter to this philosophy, and counter to the wishes of the Snoqualmie Tribe."

Snoqualmie: Carnation to start up first traffic signal Thursday - Funding for the city of Carnation's first traffic signal was provided by the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) through the Snoqualmie Tribe and project management provided through King County. Tribal members are invited to the traffic signal activation celebration.

Snoqualmie: Snoqualmie Casino’s credit rating gets a boost from Standard & Poor’s - Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has raised its credit rating of the Snoqualmie Entertainment Authority, which manages Snoqualmie Casino, from B- to B.

Snoqualmie: Carnation flips on traffic signal with ceremonial switch - Funding for the project was provided by the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) through the Snoqualmie Tribe and project management provided through King County.

Snoqualmie: Tribe's Canoe Family holds craft fair, salmon lunch at Christmas in Carnation

November 2011

Snoqualmie: Lakewood’s Court History Started with a Hanging

Snoqualmie: Helping Hand Food Bank struggles to stay afloat

Snoqualmie: Lessons in Patient-Driven Care from American Indian Communities

October 2011

Snoqualmie: Feds OK company to study hydroelectric project

Snoqualmie: Casino’s credit rating gets a boost from Standard & Poor’s

Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest: This collection of more than one hundred tribal tales, culled from the oral tradition of the Indians of Washington and Oregon, presents the Indians' own stories, told for generations around their fires, of the mountains, lakes, and rivers, and of the creation of the world and the heavens above.

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Rod Van Mechelen, Publisher & Editor, Cowlitz Country News

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