The original reservation was established by the Medicine Creek Treaty of 1854 and consisted of 1,280 acres. On January 20, 1856 the reservation was enlarged to 18,062 acres. The people raised wheat, oats and hay on natural meadows near tidal flats. The Puyallup's had a trade school for Indians of all tribes in 1906. The allotment of the reservation was finished in 1886. The growing population of Tacoma caused citizens to seek removal of restrictions on allotted reservation lands. The first result by Congress was on August 19, 1890 authorized the sale of Puyallup Reservation tracts. Then on March 3, 1893 an act provided the commission to select and appraise portions of allotments that were not required for Indian homes and part of an agency tract that wasn't needed for school purposes. The land selected and appraised was arranged for their sale by public auction. The 1893 statute provided the reservation land not sold would remain in Indian hands and not sold for ten years. After the ten years non-Indians could deal directly with the Indians. Half of the reservation was sold during this time.
The tribes constitution was approved by the secretary of the interior on May 13,1936. The governing body is the Puyallup Tribal Council. In a suit on February 20, 1984 the United States Supreme Court upheld a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that 12 acres taken over by the Port of Tacoma in 1950 belonged to the Puyallups. In February President George Bush signed a bill settling Puyallup tribal claims against federal government. The tribe was paid $77.25 million.