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Sauk-Suiattle Tribe

The Point Elliott Treaty wasn't signed by the Sauk-Suiattle chief Wawsitkin because he feared his people wouldn't receive a reservation of their own. Their sub-chief Dahtldemin did sign the treaty. The white settlers caused the tribe to abandon their traditional subsistence patterns. They stopped hunting for big game such as elk. In 1870 surveyors entered their land wanting to put a railroad through their land. Then in the 1880's whites burned a native village of eight large cedar-board longhouses. Some of the people moved to the Swinomish and other reservations in the area.

The tribe became a tribal entity in 1946. Their seven-member council handle tribal affairs under their constitution and bylaws. In June 1943 the tribe received federal recognition. The tribe has fishing rights under the Point Elliott Treaty and they are a member of the Skagit System Cooperative. The system was organized in 1976 to regulate and enhance fishing in the Skagit River. The tribe brought a suit against the United States in 1936 to recover losses for lands taken under the Point Elliott Treaty. The claim was submitted to Court of Claims but no award was given. They submitted it to Indian Claims Commission. The Commission dismissed it because the tribe wasn't an identifiable tribal entity separate from the Upper Skagits at the time of the Treaty. They were included in a claim with the Upper Skagits. They own lands in trust to the United States jointly with the Upper Skagit Indians.