Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe
The Sauk-Suiattle Indian people lived under the gaze of Whitehorse Mountain for many generations. We lived as hunters, gathers and fishermen in the region of Sauk Prairie near the present-day town of Darrington, Washington. In the early days, we were known as the Sah-ku-mehu.
We also traveled over the mountains to gather food, herbs and other necessities. We became skilled horsemen, trading with tribes from Eastern Washington. Our free roaming horses grazed among our relatives there.
Our Homelands were the entire drainage area of the Sauk, Suiattle and Cascade Rivers. We had an important village at Sauk Prairie near the confluence of the Sauk and Suiattle Rivers. The village consisted of eight traditional cedar longhouses which were destroyed in 1884 by early non-Indian settlers who had laid claim to these lands under the U.S. Homestead Act.
We thus became a landless people, but continued to lived in scattered groups close to our traditional homelands. Though many of our tribal members left the area or joined other neighboring tribes during our exodus, we maintained our tribal government, our social structure, our identity, and most importantly, our hope for the future
Our tribal membership numbered around 4,000 before 1855, and by 1924 our numbers had dwindled to 18 members. Residents in the Sauk Suiattle Indian Reservation are the surviving descendents of the original peoples who lived in this special valley. Our current membership numbers around 200 individuals. The Sauk Suiattle Indian Tribe's enrollment requirements is one quarter Indian Blood and proof of decendency from the ancestral native Americans who inhabited this unique valley recorded in the 1942 United States Census.
Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Chairman:
Norma A Joseph
M. Kevin Lenon
Thomas L. DeCoteau