Treaty Day Celebrations Mark the Anniversary of Signing the Treaty of Point Elliott

By Lora Pennington, Snoqualmie Tribe Cultural Officer

The 159th anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Point Elliott takes place on January 22, 2015. Up and down the Puget Sound, tribes will celebrate Treaty Day as we have for generations. We gather for a big meal and to visit with our relatives and friends. Then our Elders share history and the importance of our treaties.

The treaties are contracts between sovereign nations. Each side reserves rights, benefits, and responsibilities as they make these agreements. Of course, ours have been drastically modified, but they are still the key link to our relationship with the Federal government.

It might sem odd to celebrate Treaty Day, but back then holidays were one of the few times we were allowed to get together. Our gatherings, even our religions, were banned. So in order for families to see each other, tribal members celebrated holidays like Christmas, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and eventually, Treaty Day. We look forward to celebrating Treaty Day this year!