A Cultural History of the Upper Skagit: Indigenous Presence

Here’s the first episode in our series on the cultural history of the Upper Skagit Valley in the North Cascades. It was written and produced by Jillian Ross, a Mountain School instructor, to introduce us to the First People to call the Upper Skagit home – the ecosystem where the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center is based and the wild classroom for many of our programs.


Resources to learn more about Indigenous presence from the Skagit Valley to the Salish Sea:


Glossary of Terms:

  • Tribal sovereignty: The right of Native peoples to govern themselves, to make their own laws and practice their traditional lifeways
  • Treaty: A formal agreement between two countries or sovereign states
  • Stewardship: Careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care (in this case, the land and its resources)
  • Displacement: The forced removal of Native people from their homelands by Euro-American colonizers and settlers
  • Erasure: The process of discounting and eliminating the current and historical presence of indigenous people, their lifeways, language and culture
  • Time Immemorial: The very distant past – longer than humans have been able to record time and historical eras, longer than what human memory allows
  • Lifeways: The traditional ways tribal people have lived since time immemorial
  • Homelands: Tribal regions that predate Indian reservations

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