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Earl Moses, Snoqualmie Tribe chief, dies at 71

Earl Moses works with Snoqualmie Tribe members in an Earth Day 2009 clean-up effort. Moses, a tribal chief and lifelong Valley resident, died Sept. 25. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Earl Moses works with Snoqualmie Tribe members in an Earth Day 2009 clean-up effort. Moses, a tribal chief and lifelong Valley resident, died Sept. 25.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Earl Moses, a chief of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and a lifelong Valley resident, has died.

Moses, 71, died Saturday, Sept. 25, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, surrounded by many family members and friends.

He was one of the tribe's elected chiefs and was described by Snoqualmie Tribal Administrator Matt Mattson as an icon of the Valley. A memorial service was held Wednesday, Sept. 29.

Moses was born in 1938 to Albert Moses, a Snoqualmie, and Anna Moses, a Sauk Suiattle tribe member, and was raised with 10 brothers and two sisters on the family property near Reinig Road. Anna died when he was about 11 years old. Several of the Moses children were sent to live in foster homes, but Earl chose to stay with his father.

He grew up to become a logger and crew member for Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, working well into his 60s.

Moses, like his father, was keenly interested in recognition and advancement of the tribe.

Moses was asked to be a chief, and was initially hesitant to accept the honor.

"He wasn't too sure if he could handle it," said Wilson Daniels, Moses' brother-in-law. "They voted him in. A lot of people respected him for the way that he carried himself and spoke to the people. He had a lot of knowledge of the members of the Snoqualmie Tribe."

In Moses' old age, his Reinig Road property became messy, as many people, including strangers to Moses, used his home as a dumping ground. In 2009, Moses joined with members of the tribe's Environmental Natural Resources Department to clean the place for Earth Day.

While many of his siblings drifted out of the Valley, Moses stayed put over the years.

"He just loved this place," said his sister, Irene Daniels. "The Snoqualmie Valley was his home."

In his older years, Moses enjoyed visiting the Snoqualmie Tribe's casino and watching live shows.

"I hear he used to like to dance," Irene said.

Survivors include his brother Neil of Titalit, sister Irene (Wilson) Daniels or Duncan, B.C., and a large extended family.

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