Gov. Jay Inslee and chairs and councilmembers from Washington tribes convened in Suquamish today for the 29th Annual Centennial Accord. Leaders representing more than two dozen tribal governments and about 25 state agencies convene every year to discuss a range of issues and policy priorities.
The Suquamish Tribe hosted this year’s Centennial Accord at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort. Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman and Inslee opened the accord by emphasizing the importance of government-to-government collaboration and the many shared priorities of tribes and the state.
“The Suquamish Tribe is honored to host this year’s Centennial Accord,” Forsman said. “Governor Inslee and Tribal Leaders have shown allegiance to the agreement made back in 1989 by working together to find solutions to our shared challenges including climate change, access to healthcare and education, and improving our Tribal communities.”
“I am proud to reaffirm my administration’s commitment to the Centennial Accord and its principles. We respect the sovereignty and history of our tribal communities,” Inslee said. “Our destinies are intertwined. Our desire to protect the air, land and water for our future generations is mutual and it is deep. I am grateful for this government-to-government relationship and the ongoing partnership we have to solve many of our most urgent challenges.”
Among the most pressing issues Inslee spoke about was the statewide effort to protect threatened Southern Resident killer whales in Puget Sound’s waters and the corresponding effort to restore the orcas’ primary food source, Chinook salmon. Inslee said he plans to propose significant new investments in restoring and improving culverts for fish passage and will be relying on the recommendations from his orca task force to prioritize additional investments and policy actions in the 2019 legislative session.
“I am hopeful that by illuminating the intersection of salmon recovery, orca prey and fisheries we will better understand which actions will make the most difference as soon as possible,” Inslee said.
Inslee also spoke about his intention to pursue more expansion of broadband, saying he views it as one of the most important tools for opening up economic opportunities across Washington. Inslee recently celebrated an effort in La Push with the Quileute Tribe to bring broadband internet to the coastal community.
“This has tremendous potential for tribal communities,” Inslee said. “We know the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship runs deep in your tribes. Tribes and tribal-owned businesses support more than 27,000 jobs across the state, for both native and nonnative Washingtonians. Broadband can open up even more economic opportunity.”
The day’s discussions included updates on legislation to improve reporting and investigating the disappearance of Native American women, tribal traffic safety, natural resources and fisheries, social services, health care and education.
On Monday evening, Inslee attended a ceremony at the Kiana Lodge where attendees were treated to a traditional salmon dinner and a cultural night of sharing with the Suquamish and Sacred Water Canoe Families. Songs and dances were shared along with gifts of cedar baskets filled with smoked geoduck and teas.
Suquamish Cultural Coordinator Tina Jackson gifts Gov. Jay Inslee with a traditionally woven cedar basket, smoked geoduck and handmade teas as part of the honoring celebration during an evening of cultural sharing at the 2018 Centennial Accord, hosted by the Suquamish Tribe.
Governor Jay Inslee and Council Representatives from Tribes throughout Washington State at the 2018 Centennial Accord, hosted by the Suquamish Tribe at Clearwater Casino Resort in Suquamish, WA.