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The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe are a federally recognized Native American tribe living in the state of Washington. Before European colonization, the tribe occupied lands along the Skagit River, from as far downstream as present-day Mount Vernon, Washington, and villages going north as far as Newhalem along the Skagit River, as well as lands on the Baker, and the Sauk rivers.[1]

Upper Skagit
Total population
Enrolled members: 540
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( Washington)
English, Lushootseed dialect (endangered)
Christianity (incl. syncretistic forms)
Related ethnic groups
Salishan tribes of coastal Northwest, especially Lower Skagit, Sauk-Suiattle,

Culturally, the Upper Skagit share characteristics with the Lower Skagit and the Coast Salish, such as the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe, as well as the Plateau Indians on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.[2] They traditionally spoke Lushootseed, part of the Salishan language family. It was spoken by many coastal tribes of the Northwest.

Sign at reservation entrance

Upper Skagit Indian ReservationEdit

The Upper Skagit Indian Reservation consists of three separate small parcels of land in western Skagit County. The cities of Sedro-Woolley and Burlington have developed near the reservation parcels. The largest section, located northeast of Sedro Woolley, is at 48°32′31″N 122°11′15″W / 48.54194°N 122.18750°W / 48.54194; -122.18750, while the smaller western sections are at 48°33′33″N 122°20′42″W / 48.55917°N 122.34500°W / 48.55917; -122.34500 (the section where the casino is), and at 48°34′07″N 122°20′43″W / 48.56861°N 122.34528°W / 48.56861; -122.34528, between Burlington and Alger. The total land area is 84 acres (0.447 km²). Its resident population was 238 persons as of the 2000 census.[3]

The Upper Skagit owns and operates the Skagit Casino Resort, along with the Bow Hill gas station located on Bow Hill.


  1. ^ Collins, June M. Valley of the Spirits: The Upper Skagit Indians of Western Washington. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1974, p. 17.
  2. ^ Markowitz, Harvey. American Indians, Salem Press, 1995, p.726.
  3. ^ Detailed Tables - American FactFinder

External linksEdit

  • NWIFC: Upper Skagit Tribe|
  • Bruce G. Miller, “Culture as Cultural Defense: An American Indian Sacred Site in Court,” American Indian Quarterly 22, no. ½ (1998): 83-97, accessed April 13, 2016,
  • Deloria, Frank, Lane, Poole, and Al Ziontz, “The Boldt Decision: A Roundtable Discussion,” Journal of Northwest Anthropology 45, no. 1 (2011): 111-122, accessed May 16, 2016
  • Janet Yoder, “Burning at Nooksak,” The Massachusetts Review 48, no. 4 (2007): 594-602, accessed May 16, 2016,
  • June McCormick Collins, “Indian Shaker Church: A Study of Continuity and Change in Religion,” Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 6, no. 4 (1950): 399-411, accessed April 13, 2016,
  • Laurel Sercombe, “Researching the Music of the First People of the Pacific Northwest,” Fontes Artis Musicae 50, no. 2-4 (2002): 81-88, accessed May 16, 2016
  • Marian W. Smith, “The Coast Salish of Puget Sound,” American Anthropologist 43, no. 2 (1941): 197-211, accessed May 16, 2016,