On December 5, 1856 Governor Stevens recommended the establishment of the Muckleshoot Reservation and on April 9, 1874 the reservation was given definite borders consisting of 3,532.72 acres. The reservation came from the Medicine Creek Treaty (Dec. 26, 1854) which was made up with bands of Nisquallis, Puyallups and other natives of lower Puget Sound, Muckleshoot wasn't mentioned. Later on thirty-nine members were allotted 3,191.97 acres of reservation. Under chiefs Kitsap and Nelson the Muckleshoots joined the warring coalition against Americans during the Indian War of 1855-56. After the war a Roman Catholic Church was built on the reservation. Many of the Muckleshoots complained of the whites that were on their reservation due to the fact of the fragmented and irregular configuration of the reservation.
On May 13, 1936 their constitution was approved under the Indian Reorganization Act. The governing body is the Muckleshoot Indian Tribal council where three new members are elected annually. The reservation is one of several under jurisdiction of the Western Washington Indian agency which is staffed to provide professional and technical services in connection with reservation tribes and their economic development. The tribe is member of the intertribal court system formed in 1978. The tribe levies taxes on liquor which goes into general funds for members and into a fund for land acquisition. They also have a business licensing, zoning, a land-use ordinance, and water code and run a bingo operation. The tribe was denied a land claim in the Court of Claims in a suit Duwamish Indians vs. U.S. It was denied on grounds that the U.S. had no basis on which to award judgement because they had no treaty with them. However the Indian Claims Commission found that the tribe had 101,620 acres of aboriginal land valued at $86,377. On March 8, 1959 the commission ordered they be awarded that amount. As of 1975 there were 1,201.26 acres of trust land on the reservation.