Obituary provided by the Snoqualmie Tribe
Chief Andy de los Angeles, former Chairman of the Snoqualmie Tribe and nationally beloved Indigenous civil rights leader, passed on Jan. 21, 2021.
Chief Andy de los Angeles was the child of Juan de los Angeles and Frances Zackuse. On his mother’s side he was the grand child of Tom Zackuse and Nina Kellogg and the great great-grandchild of Chief Jim Zackuse and Amelia Brown.
Known affectionately as Chief Andy, he was a compassionate and tireless activist who dedicated over a half-century of his life to fighting for the rights of all Tribal Nations, safeguarding their culture and history, and protecting the sacred. Through the contributions he has made that will long outlive this generation, Chief Andy’s kind and unwavering voice for truth and justice will never be silenced and will always live on as an inspiration and call to action.
Chief Andy’s contributions to Indian Country and his beloved Snoqualmie Tribe are incalculable, and his loss is most dearly felt by his large family and his people. The Snoqualmie People will always remember Chief Andy as a pivotal historical figure and an indispensable leader during some of the Tribe’s darkest hours. He was a political, cultural, spiritual, and social leader of the Tribe, a tender-hearted mentor and teacher to countless members, a living legend whose incomparable example helped to define what it meant to a Snoqualmie citizen in the modern world.
Though he freely offered his support and wisdom to any Tribal Nation in need, Chief Andy’s most passionate crusade was the decades-long, eventually successful fight to force the federal government to re-recognize the Snoqualmie Tribe as a sovereign Tribal Nation after decades of attempted erasure. Once that battle was won, Chief Andy re-dedicated himself to protecting his Tribe’s most sacred ancestral site, Snoqualmie Falls, and helped create an enormous grassroots movement. Though that struggle is still ongoing, Chief Andy lived to see it reach a historic turning point in 2019 when the Snoqualmie Tribe finally reclaimed sacred land around the Falls, stopping proposed developments that would have further desecrated their sacred site and burial grounds.
Chief Andy dedicated himself to a life of humble and loving service in an incredibly diverse multitude of selfless jobs and positions. He provided support to those in need at various times as a Tribal head of state, a civil rights and grassroots environmental leader, a social worker, a counselor for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a teacher, a Tribal archaeologist, and Tribal public affairs newsman who edited newspapers, produced radio shows, and produced and co-hosted TV shows. A member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for decades, Chief Andy shared with everyone he met his unshakable faith in the fundamental goodness of humanity and his inspiring commitment to protecting and fostering human dignity at every opportunity he could.
In addition to his own Tribe, Chief Andy served many Tribes and Tribal organizations in their fights for recognition, civil rights, cultural protections, and quality of life, including the Puyallup Tribe, Lummi Nation, the Duwamish Tribe, the Shoshone Bannock Tribes, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, the Small Tribes Organization of Western Washington, and many others. He was a groundbreaking advocate for enshrining legal protections for Tribal cultural resources, successfully lobbying for unprecedented cultural resources policies in Washington State that have influenced policies on Indigenous cultural resources nationally and internationally – saving countless indispensable, irreplaceable contributions to the Indigenous heritage of the Americas from otherwise certain destruction.
Chief Andy is survived by his children Doug, Gabriel, Ginger and Sabeqwa de los Angeles, his grandchildren Kendra, Caleb, Teagan, Uriel de los Angeles, Amelia Zeiler, Olivia Zeiler, Zoey Zeiler, and Emma Sweet, and by his siblings Robert de los Angeles, Gil de los Angeles, Nina Repin, Valentino de los Angeles, Emiliana Harris, and Francis de los Angeles. He is preceded in death by his mother, Frances de los Angeles, his father Juan de los Angeles, and his brother Bill de los Angeles.
The Snoqualmie Tribe has started an obituary page, which can be found here.