The swinomish relationship with the environment is complex as in many tribal communities. The Northwest tribe that is coastal only makes use of the land for meals, medication, and material items, however, many social traditions like ceremonies are land-based.
The federal government has very long tried to sever tribes through the land — their source of real information, tradition, and wellness. Through war and forced moving, tribes were physically eliminated. Policies for instance the 1887 General Allotment Act forced numerous to look at inactive lifestyles and make use of Western agricultural strategies. (more…)