Ferries pass on a crossing between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island. File Photo by Andy Bronson/Daily Herald

Ferries pass on a crossing between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island. File Photo by Andy Bronson/Daily Herald

Snoqualmie Tribe suggests name for new state ferry

The Snoqualmie Tribe has thrown its name into the mix for naming Washington’s newest ferry, proposing it be named “Snoqualmie.”

The name would be attached to the state’s new passenger ferry, which is currently under construction and expected to begin carrying up to 15,000 passengers and 144 vehicles by 2022.

Until 5 p.m. on Oct. 8, state residents will have the opportunity to submit names for the ferry to The Washington State Transportation Commission. To be considered, the name must have state or regional significance.

“The Tribal Council believes that choosing our Tribe’s name would recognize our people’s millennia of history in Washington and our timeless connection to Puget Sound as traders and travelers while raising modern awareness of our proud history and culture,” said Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman Robert de los Angeles.

Currently, Washington has 21 ferries in its fleet, all of which have culturally significant names. The Olympic ferry class, which will include the newest ferry, has vessels named Chimacum, Samish, Suquamish and Tokitae. Much of the area around Puget Sound, where the state ferries are located, is Snoqualmie ancestral land.

“The Snoqualmie People have a proud and culturally rich tradition that deserves to be known and honored by all Washingtonians,” said State Rep. Bill Ramos, who represents those in the Snoqualmie Valley.

The name suggestion comes just before Snoqualmie Rights Day, which celebrates the anniversary of The U.S. Department of Interior affirming its prior decision to federally recognize The Snoqualmie Tribe in 1999. Two years prior, the Tribe gained back its federal recognition status after decades of petitioning.

The winning ferry name is expected to be announced by Dec. 14, after Washington State Ferries and the Ferry Advisory Committee Executive Council review proposals and public opinion.

To support the Tribe’s name, you can sign an online petition at: change.org/SnoqualmieFerry

To suggest a name send an email to transc@wstc.wa.gov, and put “Ferry Naming Proposal” in the subject line.

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