News around the Valley: Tribe sues over archives building

Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and AG Ferguson sue Trump administration

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe joined Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson in filing a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over the accelerated sale of the National Archives and Records Administration building in Seattle.

Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman Robert de los Angeles said in a press conference on Jan. 4 that the archives played an integral role in preserving the history and legacy of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe.

“When our Tribe had to fight for the federal government to recognize our rights and sovereignty, the Seattle Archives was a nearby resource that allowed us to conveniently access our own history and prove our case,” de los Angeles said.

Last January, the facility was prepared for sale by the Trump administration, along with other federal properties. In October, the government decided to bundle the Seattle archive with 11 other properties. Tribes were not properly consulted during the process, and no public notice was given, according to a press release from the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe.

The records at the National Archives in Seattle hold historical records of 272 federally recognized tribes, and holds documents from the National Archives building in Anchorage when it was closed in 2016. The federal government wants to split the content between archive centers in California and Missouri, requiring tribes and others to travel significant distances to access the documents, many of which have not been digitized.

In Washington, 28 tribes have joined the lawsuit, as well as nine community organizations and others.

“It would be unconscionable to remove this valuable public institution, and the irreplaceable Tribal history and records it contains, from its constituents in the Pacific Northwest,” de los Angeles said in the statement.

MLK Day Walk

Friends of Lake Sammamish is inviting residents to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with a walk along the shore at Lake Sammamish State Park from Jan. 3 to Jan. 20. The walk begins at Tibbetts Beach bathhouse and continues along the lakeshore. Signage along the way will showcase famous quotes from the civil rights leader. The famous “I have a dream” speech is captured in its entirety at the end of the walk at Sunset Beach bathhouse.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 18, is a free day at the park and no Discover Pass is required.