When I dug into the digital archives to search—in quite the cursory way—the place where I grew up, I knew few details about Tulalip’s history. Instead, I brought only a serviceable explanation of national policy—and an abiding interest in maps. The history displayed visually suggests local stories with specific implications, opportunities to dig deeper. The shifts in property ownership and the incursion of the timber economy both represent transformed ways of moving on the landscape for the Suiattle and Suquamish and others.
One critical part of life not represented here is fish, the salmon so central to Northwest peoples. That leads to more questions about the (in)adequacy of historical records.
And that’s what historical research usually does…raises more questions, especially in the gaps and silences.
Besides the archival material linked above, I relied mainly on Harriette Shelton Dover, Tulalip, from My Heart: An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community; Pauline Hillaire, Rights Remembered: A Salish Grandmother Speaks on American Indian History and the Future; and Alexandra Harmon, Indians in the Making: Ethnic Relations and Indian Identities around Puget Sound.