The Shoalwater Bay Tribe is a Sovereign Nation located in South Western Washington, on the Northwest coast of the Pacific Ocean. Descended from welcoming, resourceful, and fiercely determined ancestors, the Shoalwater Bay People, like many of our Northwest Coast neighbors and beyond, strive to combine the cultural aspects of our heritage with challenges of the modern world to build a better environment for our children.
In ages past, our people were clam diggers and oyster schooners, hunters, canoe people, basket weavers, and above all traders who possessed powerful inter-tribal status and denoted their high rank by forehead binding and, in later days, other symbols of community standing. Tribal members inherit the rich tradition of Lower Chehalis and Chinook life, including an ancestral love of our land, fishing, cedar trees, drumming, singing, and cultural gatherings.
At present, about two thirds of our membership make their homes off reservation land, and there is a growing cultural awakening occurring among tribal members regardless of their location. Tribal artists contribute to our prosperity in many creative forms, including writing, photography, painting, wood-carving, bead-work, playing instruments, singing, and powwow dancing.
For both on and off-reservation members, and neighbors along the Northwestern Coast, and all those who have similar experiences as Native peoples in our current circumstances, the heart of the Tribe exists in its history, language, and culture; the regality of our ancestors flows through the veins of all our people with no distinction.