Tribal Relations

Washington's first people have unique and rich insight into our natural environments. Countless generations have passed down wisdom of how our land's ecology influences its culture.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources recognizes the vital knowledge Washington's first people have of our shared natural resources. DNR operates under an order from the Commissioner of Public Lands to ensure management of state-owned lands is done in collaboration with the twenty-nine federally recognized tribes of Washington State.

Collaborative Relationships With Washington Tribes Helps Ensure Good Communication

DNR works toward collaborative relationships and good communication with Tribes in all its programs, at all levels across the agency. The department recognizes the Tribes' separate rights and authorities and maintains government-to-government relations with the 29 recognized Indian Tribes residing in the state of Washington as well as other interested Indian Tribes outside of the state of Washington.
The Centennial Accord was established in 1989 through the governor and the signatory tribes. In addition, the Commissioner of Public Lands also recognizes the department's relationship with Washington's sovereign tribes with an official Commissioner's Order on Tribal Relations. The Commissioner's Order serves as the department's overall tribal relations policy and commits the department to conduct relations with the tribes as one government to another. Building on the foundation that the Centennial Accord provided, the Governor and tribes met in 1999 to again express their desire to build stronger working relationships by adopting the Millennium Agreement. These various documents provide the context for DNR's tribal relations program.