Snoqualmie Tribe says roundabout is being built on sacred ground

By: Graham Johnson

Updated:

Members of the Snoqualmie Tribe on Wednesday staged a protest of what they call the bulldozing of sacred burial ground.

In the middle of the future Tokul roundabout, a quarter mile from Snoqualmie Falls, a small mound of dirt is marked by a stake.
In July workers unearthed a projectile point at that spot.

The Snoqualmie Tribe estimates it could be 9,000 years old.

"What we want is to stop irresponsible development, and developing on the bones of our ancestors is irresponsible," said Lois Sweet Dorman, Snoqualmie Tribal Council member.

Tribal leaders say the roundabout site and a potential housing development nearby are on sacred burial ground.

"We've been actually quite surprised since the project's underway that it's been characterized as a sacred burial ground," said Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson. "We've never heard that term used in over two years of deliberations with the Corps and with the tribe."

Larson said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the project after an extensive review.

In an email to KIRO 7, the Corps said it considers the projectile point to be an isolated find. 

The Muckleshoot Tribe owns the Salish Lodge near the falls, and Larson said the Muckleshoots are interested in someday building a nearby conference center.

"This is their same history, this is their same heritage and they haven't expressed these concerns about this particular site," Larson said.

A spokesman for the Muckleshoot Tribe declined comment.

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