Welcome to The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department
The Stillaguamish Tribe's Natural Resources Department came into being as a result of U.S. v. Washington, Civil 9213, better known as the Boldt Decision of 1974. In this case, which was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, Puget Sound Indian Tribes who signed treaties with Isaac Stevens in the late 1800's retained the right to take up to 50% of all harvestable (beyond what is required to ensure reproductive success) fish and shellfish resources within their respective Usual and Accustomed (U&A's) fishing areas. Because the welfare of Treaty Tribes is the responsibility of the U.S. Government (Trust status), it became the responsibility of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to manage fish, shellfish, and other natural resources for the benefit of the Tribes. Seeing the benefit of having each Tribe manage it's own resources, the BIA entered into contracts with the Tribes for the purpose of providing management of fish and shellfish resources within their respective U&A's.
The mission of the Natural Resources department is therefore to manage, protect, and conserve those natural resources that are required to sustain healthy populations of fish, shellfish, and wildlife within the Stillaguamish Tribe's U&A (Stillaguamish Watershed). In addition, the Tribe's contract with the BIA provides for enrollment of tribal members for the purpose of certifying an individual's right to take fish, shellfish, and wildlife for commercial as well as ceremonial purposes, and contains provisions for establishing enforcement of laws and regulations that the Tribe may promulgate for the purpose of conducting or curtailing commercial and/or ceremonial harvests of fish, shellfish, and wildlife.
"The river is alive. It is an essential part of our lives. When it is vibrant and healthy, our well being is preserved. We must heal and protect this precious resource, not just for our own tribal treaty rights, but because it's a wise and respectful thing to do for everyone who lives here."