Muckleshoot Indians advance Sand Point claim in March 1993.

  • By Patrick McRoberts
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • Essay 2278
In March 1993, the Muckleshoot Indian tribe puts forth a plan for it to control the 151-acre surplussed naval property at Sand Point near Warren G. Magnuson Park.

The plan included an $11 million renovation plan that would include a marina, park land, an interim jail, an industrial park, and a community college. The college would have a vocational curriculum and serve up to 7,000 Native American students from across the nation.

Lake Washington was considered part of the tribe's ancestral fishing grounds and treaty rights gave the Muckleshoots some claim to the land. However, the tribe went beyond treaty rights as a premise for its claim. Employing Denny Miller, a former aide to the late Senator Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson, as a lobbyist, they argued that the government was premature in negotiating transfer of the land to the City of Seattle. They persuaded the Bureau of Indian Affairs to put in a request for the land, and, since federal agencies technically had priority, it looked like they had a chance at gaining control of it.

In the end, the tribe gave up its claim. In return, the City of Seattle agreed to help the tribe procure about 80 acres of land near its Auburn, Washington reservation.

Sources: Robert T. Nelson, "Tribe May Win Sand Point Claim," The Seattle Times, July 16, 1993, p. A-1.

Related Topics:   Government & Politics | Northwest Indians | Seattle Neighborhoods

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