"When I was a kid, I was called a dirty dumb Indian, or a dumb dirty Indian, or whatever, you know? Well, I got in a lot of fights. Because I wasn’t dirty, and I wasn’t dumb, but I sure was tough!”
--Tribal Elder Anita "Shipman" Couture
The above picture was taken at a proposed housing area before it began; once completed it became home to those who began and continue to host the Northwest Coast Native site. Northwest Coast Native at shoalwaterbaytribe.com is located on the Washington Coast near a small beachfront town site called Tokeland.
Shoalwater Bay Tribal lands are located in the middle of a non-Native coastal fishing, tourism, and retirement community with a surrounding population who is not always appreciative of their Reservation neighbors, as the "Future Ghetto" sign gives evidence to. Despite this, and in keeping with the stated goals and actions of our ancestors, we do our best to continue a tradition of standing up no matter what is set before us. And this tradition is a strong one:
Though the tribe faced near decimation through disease, residential schools, and dispossession, our ancestors stood firm, refusing to budge from tribal land, which led to the September 22, 1866 executive order to set aside the Naahps Chaahts community village site (also called Georgetown) for “miscellaneous Indian purposes.” Later, the tribe was among the few Federally Recognized Reservations in the United States which did not treaty with the Federal Government.
It took until 1971 for the Shoalwater Bay Tribe to be recognized as a Sovereign Nation. However, in the face of many trials and pressures to relocate, our ancestors preserved our Native land for future generations, allowing us to practice our culture in our homeland as we have done for countless centuries.
Shoalwater Bay Tribe.com