Tulalip on Lopez Island

Tulalip youth at Lopez Island
Photo/Andrew Gobin

Lopez Island − Two aging piers, a bit of history and a lot of fun. Tulalip kids paid a visit to the tribes’ property at MacKaye Harbor on Thursday, August 22.

Tulalip Youth Services offers a plethora of activities during the summer to occupy kids, including movie premiers, whirly ball, and trips to Wildwaves. This year, youth services wanted to do something different.

“We usually do the same things, make the same trips, but those things are typically open year round,” said Tony Hatch, who organized the trip. “We wanted to do something special, something different. So we brought the kids up here to learn about the tribes’ fishing history.”

He and Ron Iukes reminisced about fishing and staying on the docks during the summer.

“It’s good that the kids see this part of our history, and where we fished off the reservation,” Hatch added. “Here, they also get to see some of the tribes’ property that has been put on the back burner.”

Tulalip fishermen used to fish the San Juan Islands more frequently, which led to the purchase of land. Today, four tracts of land are owned by Tulalip, the first purchased in 1986, two in 1993, and one in 2005, according to the San Juan County Assessor. They still fish there today, though not as often as the decades leading in to the 1980s and early 1990s.

The tribe did plan to renovate the docks, and began work on one in recent years, but the project has not progressed since.

Hatch said, “It is unclear what Tulalip will do with the land, but we’d like to plan an end of the year camp next year.”