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This Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor the past, present and future of Native peoples. We recognize their resilience, and celebrate their rich cultures and contributions to our community.

Our partners at the Puyallup Tribe of Indians share our values of respect of people and place. The salmon, which graces the sleeve of The Jimi Hendrix Kit, is emblematic of our mutual commitment to protecting our planet.

We are proud to wear this mark, and spoke with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ Historic Preservation Department to learn more about the significance of the salmon, and its relationship with the Tribe.

Please share about the relationship between the land / nature and the tribe, in general.

The Tribe has always had a great tradition of love and care for the land. From our creation story, we know we came from the rivers and were placed on this land to care for it. We have always used the environment we live in to help us through daily life. Everything was sustainable. From the Cedar plank houses, cedar bark clothing, cedar canoes. We wasted very little. We used only what we needed and made sure our impact was positive and was a benefit to the land.

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Can you share a bit about the history of the salmon, as it relates to the Puyallup Tribe?

The Salmon are a gift from the creator to sustain our people. In one of our creation stories, the mountain wished to provide her people with nourishment, so the creator made the rivers from the mountain and filled the rivers with salmon so our people would always have food to eat. We have annual ceremonies (First Fish) that celebrate and honor the Salmon for returning to us to give our people the nourishment we need.

How has the significance of the salmon to the tribe changed or evolved over time? 

The salmon has always been an integral part of our community, that has not will never change. What has changed is our increased partnership with non-natives to fight for the preservation of our salmon. Protecting the rivers and the streams and water quality. Since non-native arrival and commercialization of the salmon, we've had to fight for their survival. It took 100 years for the state and feds to hear our message and join our fight.

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How long has the salmon been the mark/logo of the tribe? Why was it chosen? 

The salmon became the official logo in the late 1970s, but it was used years prior on signs and banners during the fishing wars. It was chosen because of the significance the salmon plays in our culture and creation. 

Is there anything else you would like to share about the relationship between the salmon and the tribe? 

The salmon is an important resource for the Puyallup People, but also an important resource for Orca and the health of our waterways. Protecting the salmon benefits all walks of life.