About the cək’ʷdup ʔətiit sdukʷalbixʷ (Valley of the Snoqualmie) Map:
Due to colonization, extractionist activities including logging, mining, and development have impacted sdukʷalbixʷ Ancestral Lands in irreversible ways. sdukʷalbixʷ Ancestral Lands include some of Washington State’s most popular recreation sites, where increased visitation and impact has harmed lands and cultural resources.
The Snoqualmie Tribe and people have been erased in interpretive signage, regional marketing materials, and other communication materials, and as a result many individuals are unaware of sdukʷalbixʷ despite many of these spaces carrying the Snoqualmie name. This map presents sdukʷalbixʷ lands from a different perspective.
This map does not include all of the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Ancestral Lands, rather it focuses on the broader Snoqualmie Valley area. sdukʷalbixʷ lands and the significance of various areas within them extends far beyond the limits of this physical map in many ways.
The Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement raises awareness of the importance of these lands and waters to the Snoqualmie people whose connection to these places has existed since time immemorial and continues to the present day. Individuals can integrate respect and acknowledgement for the Snoqualmie Tribe into their recreational practices and experiences. To learn more about how you can protect, respect, and restore sdukʷalbixʷ lands, visit the page for the Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement by clicking here.
Permissions: No information from this map may be used by others without official written permission from the Snoqualmie Tribe.
Funding from the City of Snoqualmie contributed to the production and distribution of this map.
Traditional Place Names:
The Snoqualmie people have traditional place names for our lands, waterways, harvesting areas, and other important sites. These place names are in Lushootseed, the Native language of the Snoqualmie People. The Snoqualmie People have an ancient, unbroken connection to these lands despite non-Natives declaring their own names for these areas through colonization.
Tribal Transportation Routes:
The original highways of this region were the rivers and lakes that connected the region. Traveling took place year-round, to visit relatives in other villages, to hunt and gather different types of foods, to steward our lands, from the mountains to the saltwater. People now travel on our old trail routes in their cars, on boats, or while recreating.
Landmark 1 | baqʷab (Meadowbrook and Tollgate area) is an important place to the Snoqualmie people. Our creation story begins in baqwab, where the sisters fall asleep. The prairie was once rich with camas, chocolate lily and other traditional foods found in native prairies. For the Snoqualmie people, baqʷab has been a space for gathering as people, gathering foods, and hunting since time immemorial. The Snoqualmie people stewarded baqwab using practices including traditional burns which supported the native plants and wildlife who call baqʷab home. There are multiple recognized archaeological sites at baqʷab.
When colonizers arrived in the Valley, the Snoqualmie people went through great hardships to remain in our ancestral lands including working in the hops fields which damaged and harmed our traditional prairie. While hops and other industries have come and gone from the Valley, the Snoqualmie people remain.
Landmark 2 | daʔšədabš (Rattlesnake Ridge) sits on the far side of baqwab while qʷalbc watches across the valley. daʔšədabš has distinct impressions along the ridge, which resemble footprints. These footprints were made when people swung across the valley from the top of qʷalbc on a cedar rope. When this rope fell, it turned to stone and was named yiʔduʔad.
The modern trails on daʔšədabš were originally part of an extensive trail system that allowed people to easily travel from Puget Sound along the Cedar River or the current path of I90 and Snoqualmie Pass, allowing trade with Tribes from the East side of the Cascades.
Landmark 3 | The Snoqualmie Pass is a critical area to the Tribe both historically and in current day. Snoqualmie Tribal Members still travel the Pass to visit with family, and source traditional first foods, including huckleberries.
Click here to read a 2019 post about how Snoqualmie harvested for the 20th anniversary of federal recognition.
Landmark 4 | The Snoqualmie Falls (šə̌qaʔɫdaɫ & sqʷədʔ) and surrounding lands are a sacred site, and the area is listed as a Traditional Cultural Property in the National Registry. The English language, with all its complexity, still lacks the words to express or define the sacred meaning this place and the connection the Snoqualmie People have here since time immemorial. Snoqualmie Falls is the birthplace of our People. It is a part of who we are and our connection to our ancestors. We are the spiritual stewards of sacred Snoqualmie Falls and we will always fight to protect our sacred sites. Visitors to the Falls can learn more by viewing the videos and other materials on display within the sdukʷalbixʷ Snoqualmie Falls Gift Shop & Visitors Center.
Landmark 5 | yiʔduʔad (Swing Rock) Featured in the Tribe’s creation story, less than 5% of yiʔduʔad (Swing Rock) remains today. The impact and destruction of the extractive relationship many settlers have with the Tribe’s Ancestral Lands is evident here, as most of this sacred site has been blasted apart, removed, and dispersed as gravel over the past half century. The only portion of yiʔduʔad remaining is on property managed by the Meadowbrook Farm Preservation Association after public funds were used to purchase the land in the late 1990s. The Cities of North Bend and Snoqualmie partnered with the Tribe in recent years to seek protections for yiʔduʔad and the Tribe hopes to someday have the portion of yiʔduʔad that remains to be designated as a protected landmark. In Skookum George’s version of the Star Husband story, Rat had been swinging, and he gnawed at the swing, and it dropped down into a pile, and formed a large round rock in the Snoqualmie Valley.
Landmark 6 | sqʷawx̌ x̌ačuʔ (Lake Sammamish) Snoqualmie people have been present in the lake and on the shores of Lake Sammamish since time immemorial. Despite longhouses being burned down by colonizers, at the turn of the century there were seven Snoqualmie homesteads along the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish. In the 1980s, creeks on the eastern shore of the Lake were renamed to reflect the Snoqualmie families who are connected to his land including George Davis and Zackuse creeks.
Today, the Snoqualmie Tribe invests heavily in restoration efforts to support ʔilaʔł (little red fish) which are greatly threatened with extinction, and we are present in the waters, as the Tribe holds canoe practice sessions each year in the lake leading up to the annual Canoe Journey.
Landmark 7 | x̌ubal (Marymoor / Bear Creek) The Bear Creek site is a unique archaeological site discovered during a 2008 cultural resources survey when artifacts dating to over 12,000 years old were located. This area has been a gathering space for Snoqualmie trade and community for centuries.
Click here to read about the significance of the Bear Creek archaeological site.
Landmark 8 | qʷalbc (Mt Si) Over 100,000 people visit the mountain each year, to hike on one of the State’s most popular hiking trails, but most people do not know about the importance of this space to the Snoqualmie people. qʷalbc has been an area revered for its rich abundance of native edible plants consumed by the Snoqualmie people for thousands of years. It also holds a key place in the Snoqualmie creation story, when the two sisters from tultxʷ (Tolt/Carnation) returned from the land of the Star people their relations celebrated by swinging on the cedar rope from Mt. Si to Rattlesnake ridge and back. qʷalbc also carries cultural meaning for wayfinding.
There are no Lushootseed words for directions like east, west, north, and south, rather the Snoqualmie People used natural landmarks qʷalbc and others to navigate.
Many individuals climb qʷalbc with the intention of “conquering” it. The Snoqualmie Tribe urges individuals recreating on all Snoqualmie Ancestral Lands to recreate in a way that is mindful rather than based in an intention of “conquest”, to show respect to these lands and the Snoqualmie people.
To read more about mindfulness vs conquest, click here to read a piece from the Tribe’s Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Movement team.
Landmark 9 | stapc̀ (Marckworth State Forest) The Snoqualmie People among many others are signatories to the Treaty of Point Elliott of 1855. The Treaty of Point Elliot recognized the Snoqualmie Tribe’s sovereignty and solidified the government-to-government relationship with the United States. The treaty promises, however, have never been fully upheld. While some Snoqualmie people moved reservations, many Snoqualmie people stayed in our ancestral lands. In the 1930’s the United States government promised a reservation for the Tribe in the Valley – one parcel in Kitsap County to provide access to salt water, and over 10,000 acres of land along Tolt River near the Marckworth State Forest. This promised reservation never materialized, and in the 1950s, under the Indian Termination Policy, the US did not include Snoqualmie on its list of Federally Recognized Tribes due to being “landless.” The Snoqualmie Tribe was then excluded from the Boldt Decision in 1974 and Tribal Members fought for decades to regain Federal Recognition, which was restored in 1997 and then again on October 6th, 1999.
Landmark 10 | sdukʷalbixʷ stulʷkʷ (Snoqualmie River) The Snoqualmie River is a living, dynamic river which the Snoqualmie people have used in many ways including travel. Today, the Tribe has restored hundreds of acres of land along the River and have pushed for land use management decisions and policies which support the long-term health of the River which is impacted by climate change and other impacts more and more every year.
Click here to learn more about the importance of the Snoqualmie River to the Tribe, and how the Tribal government is investing and advocating in a responsible planning approach to support the river. Click here to access a walking tour created to accompany the plan.
Landmark 11 | c̀agʷəbʔdub (near Duvall) Traditional place name translates to “area kept clear for berry picking” Areas like this are named because of their cultural value to the Snoqualmie Tribe. Harvesting berries and other edible plants was and is a key part of Snoqualmie culture. The Snoqualmie people survived in this area for thousands of years because of places like this that provided sustenance. The Snoqualmie People are the original stewards of this land and places like this provideed food year after year. Snoqualmie ancestors harvested these berries and cultivated land for berry producing plants to spread for future generations to enjoy their harvests.
Landmark 12 | Middle Fork Snoqualmie The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley is full of ancient and contemporary trail systems that have seen continuous use across the centuries. It is near the heartland of the modern Snoqualmie People, who have lived, hunted, fished, and maintained this ecosystem for at least 13,000 years. Recreational activities here in recent years have greatly impacted wildlife to whom this area is home. Please make sure to educate yourself about how to safely and responsibly recreate in areas with elk, bear, mountain goats, and other wildlife species.
Click here to watch Brooks Running Run with Respect video (3 min). The video was produced in partnership with the Tribe and partially filmed in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie.
Landmark 12 | c̀uʔbeɫ (Snoqualmie Reservation area) After decades of fighting for Federal recognition, the Snoqualmie Tribe was re-recognized in 1997, and after a challenge filed by another tribe in the region, our recognition was upheld again on October 6th, 1999. With federal recognition status restored, the Tribe was able to acquire land to establish a reservation. Despite the United States promising a reservation to the Snoqualmie Tribe, the Tribe had to buy land for its reservation with reservation land recognized as being under the Tribe’s sovereign jurisdiction, the Snoqualmie Tribe was able to open the Snoqualmie Casino and other enterprises. The Tribe’s land jurisdiction grew in 2023 when the Tribe’s land adjacent to Snoqualmie Falls was also taken into trust.
On the Tribe’s trust and reservation lands, the Tribe assesses Tribal taxes which fund many Tribal government programs including culture, education, health, and land conservation.
Landmark 14 | tultxʷ (Tolt/Carnation) Snoqualmie people have been present in the Tolt area for thousands of years. In this traditional place, where the name indicates swift waters, cedar plank houses were once present here along the river and there were major village sites.
Landmark 15 | Evergreen Longhouse in Monroe In order to regain federal recognition, the Snoqualmie Tribe had to prove multiple criteria including that we continued to meet as a government. Throughout history the Snoqualmie people have continued to meet in multiple locations to conduct government business, including the longhouse at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. For decades, the Longhouse was home to governmental activities and salmon bakes during the State Fair each year which helped provide the Tribe with much-needed funding for the petition to regain federal recognition. Paintings on the outside of the building were done by Snoqualmie Tribal Members.