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Pacific Northwest Culture: Tulalip Tribes’ Hibulb Cultural Center

Tulalip Cultural Center
Karin Leperi

The Hibulb Cultural Center talks a lot about keeping the cultural fires burning. As a museum and cultural center located in Tulalip, Washington, they are dedicated to preserving “the legacy of the Tulalip people by giving a historic perspective of the bands that make up the Tulalip Tribes.” Tribal members are direct descendants of the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied tribes that signed the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott, an unfavorable treaty that forced these people to surrender millions of acres that cut a swath from the Cascade Mountains to the east, the islands of the Puget Sound to the west, and as far as Canada to the north and south just shy of the Duwamish River. In return they were resigned to live on a reservation of 22,000 acres on Tulalip Bay.

Though the bands and tribes were separate before the treaty, they were nevertheless united by common lands, language, and culture. In 1936, members of the Tulalip Tribes accepted a new Constitution which stated that all peoples living at Tulalip would now be known as the Tulalip Tribes. Today, they are united through a common cultural heritage, values, and a desire to preserve their traditions in a sustainable way.

The Hibulb Cultural Center explores and documents elements that are vital and important to their people such as cedar, canoes, salmon, seasons, language, and the longhouse - where stories were told that became part of their oral tradition. Take time to walk along their path and understand history through their eyes. Be sure to catch the informative movie in the longhouse and walk deliberately through the Warriors Honor Wall – a tribute to the warrior spirit of men and women who served in the Armed Forces in defense of our cherished freedoms.

Most stirring to me is those to whom the center is dedicated: “The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve is dedicated to those who have gone home before us and to those who have remained to keep the fires burning.”

Open Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday & Sunday from Noon-5pm. Closed on Mondays.


The Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve

6410 23rd Avenue N.E.

Tulalip, Washington 98271

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