Nisqually Tribe

The Nisqually tribe has over 650 enrolled members. Most live on or near the reservation, which was established by the Medicine Creek Treaty in 1854. According to legend, the Nisqually people migrated from the Great Basin thousands of years ago, crossing the Cascades and settling in what is now Skate Creek. The tribe is one of the largest employers in Thurston County.

Nisqually Tribe Area of Concern:

The Nisqually Tribe is focused in the Nisqually River basin, one of the least developed watersheds in Puget Sound. Much of the riverine and estuarine area within the basin has been successfully protected, but significant chunks of nearshore habitat have been developed, reducing habitat for fish. Population growth is also increasing pressure on water resources in the region.

Natural Resource Management

  • In August, the Nisqually Tribe’s GIS department was recognized with a Special Achievement in GIS Award at the Esri International User Conference. Their GIS program supports the Natural Resources department and has also been in demand outside the department. In 2010, the tribe worked to improve access to GIS throughout the tribal government.
  • A 2011 update to the 2001 Nisqually Chinook Recovery Plan reflects 20 years of habitat protection and restoration actions by the tribe, which helped increase populations of fall Chinook (listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act) by close to 60 percent.
  • The tribe has surveyed watershed fish populations for years, but in May of 2011 they added walking surveys in smaller creeks and streams to gather more data on the steelhead population. Nisqually steelhead numbers declined dramatically in the early 90s, and the population has remained steady but has not rebounded.
  • In summer 2011, the tribe removed 6,670 feet of dike along the Nisqually River, the final step in years of estuary restoration work.

Map of Tribal Lands

Nisqually Indian Tribe
4820 She-Nah-Num Drive SE
Olympia, WA 98513
(360) 456-5221
FAX: (360) 407-0247

Natural Resource Center
12501 Yelm Highway SE
Olympia, WA 98513
(360) 438-8687
FAX: (360) 438-8742

Chairperson: Cynthia Iyall
Natural Resources Manager/NWIFC Commissioner: Georgiana Kautz

source: NWIFC