Tribes of the central Puget Sound region

Under treaties signed with the United States in the 1850s, many tribes in the region ceded most of Washington state, but in return reserved fishing and hunting rights, including rights off reserve to fish in all usual and customary fishing grounds and the right to hunt and gather on open and unclaimed land. Federal courts have interpreted the nature and extent of these retained rights and have ruled that sovereign tribes, along with Washington State, have co-management responsibility and authority over fish and wildlife resources.

Tribal planning

Tribes engage in land use planning and economic development to provide jobs, housing and services, as well as infrastructure to support and plan for growth. As sovereign nations, tribes are not required to plan under the Growth Management Act, but recognize the importance of coordination and cooperation with all governments to address challenges such as population growth and climate change facing the region. The PSRC recognizes and respects the full sovereignty of each tribe and their traditional lands located within the jurisdictional limits of the members of the PSRC.


VISION 2050 supports a meaningful, regular and continuous exchange of information and opinions for better informed decision-making and mutual understanding between Indian tribes as sovereign nations and PSRC member jurisdictions.

The VISION 2050 policy, MPP-RC-4, directs members of the Puget Sound region to coordinate with tribes in regional and local planning, recognizing mutual benefits and the potential for impacts between growth occurring in inside and outside tribal borders. In coordination with tribes in the region, the PSRC prepared a document on coordination with tribes in overall planning.

In addition, the PSRC supports partnerships with tribes on the protection of cultural and natural resources, restoration of fish and wildlife habitats, economic development, climate change adaptation and mitigation measures and other matters of tribal interest.

Elna M. Lemons