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Native Voices

Welcome

Native Voices

 

Saint Martin's University is on the traditional lands of the dxwsqwali? abš (Nisqually Tribe), one of the named tribes of the Medicine Creek Treaty (1854).  Other tribes named in the treaty include the Spuyaləpabš (Puyallup), [?] (Squaxin Island), the Steilacoom, S’Homamish, Steh-chass, T’Peeksin, Squi-aitl, and Sa-heh-wamish tribes.  Initial contact between the Medicine Creek Treaty tribes and the English and then Americans in the region was rooted in respectful interaction and commerce; even as more and more American settlers “came to the area, the tribes continued to provide foods and oils, thereby becoming essential to the initial success of the white settlers,” according to Vine Deloria Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux), one of the most significant Native thinkers of the Twentieth Century.1  However, land and resource hunger and a developing disdain for the tribes led to the treaty’s disastrous terms and fallout.  The Nisqually, Puyallup, and Squaxin Island tribes have successfully struggled to maintain their sense identity and culture; the other, smaller tribes continue to struggle for recognition.  
 

This guide has been created to help Native Voices students and the Saint Martin’s University community more generally learn about the original stewards of these lands.  May this learning lead us to reflect on their stories and find ways to support their treaty rights and sovereignty.

 

1 Vine Deloria Jr., Indians of the Pacific Northwest: from the Coming of the White Man to the Present Day (Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 2012), 41.

General resources

General resources

Below are general resources for background information on Native tribes in the US.


The following e-book, Native Studies Keywords, is a crucial resource!  There are many concepts that are deeply, deeply meaningful for Indigenous peoples that are simply not understood by non-Indigenous peoples.  This collection offers rich discussions of concepts like the central role of land in Indigenous life, sovereignty, Indigenous ways of knowing, etc. 

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