Kirkland Native History Document

Kirkland-Native-History-Document Image

As part of the City’s efforts around Resolution R-5434, the City compiled a hyper-local Native history of Kirkland in collaboration with local tribal leaders and Native experts and in consultation with a variety of historical sources. This document will serve as a guide to the City to make informed choices on practices, policies, official documents and public signage. Additionally, as part of the historical document, the City Council has adopted a formal local land acknowledgement and local land acknowledgement usage guide(PDF, 921KB) for City staff.  

Download the Kirkland Native History Document(PDF, 944KB) 

What is the significance of this document?

As part of the City’s commitment to dismantle structural racism, the City continues to take actions that share and celebrate diversity in our region, including our local native history. By publishing a Kirkland Native History Document, the City, residents, local businesses, and visitors have an informational resource to understand and reflect on Kirkland's past, as well as a guide in honoring the Native roots of present-day Kirkland.

How was my feedback be used?

Community feedback on the draft Native History Document was solicited from December 2021 through March 2022 and was used to inform changes to the final draft. Input was compiled by City staff and provided to City Council at their June 21, 2022 Council meeting as part of their consideration to approve the document.

Who was involved with the drafting of the Native History Document?

Throughout this project, staff sought to center Native voices and adapt both the project process and product based on their feedback.  City staff reached out to the Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Snoqualmie and Suquamish Tribes, a Lushootseed Language speaker, the Chief Seattle Club, and the United Indians of all Tribes. Representatives from most of those groups responded and participated in the City’s process, which included two focus groups, one-on-one phone calls, and email correspondence. Local historian David M. Buerge also contributed to this process.

The resulting sixteen page Kirkland Native History Document, including citations and sources, is intended to serve as a living document that will get updated on an annual basis. It is a compilation of information and images excerpted from numerous sources comprising the City’s best understanding at this time. 

What is a Local Land Acknowledgement?

A land acknowledgement is a formal statement that pays tribute to, expresses gratitude and respect for, and helps raise awareness of the Indigenous inhabitants of the local land—past and present.  Land acknowledgements are ceremonial in nature and do not carry any legal authority. Land acknowledgements have been adopted by other cities in Washington, including the cities of Edmonds, Everett, and Spokane.  Other cities throughout the country have also adopted land acknowledgements, including the cities of Denver, Colorado; Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and Eureka, California.

Kirkland’s adopted Land Acknowledgement was drafted as part of the Kirkland Native History Document project.  It is informed by input by tribal leaders and has been reviewed by them, though the final acknowledgement is specific to Kirkland and is not the official position of any of the consulted tribal organizations.  In adopting this local land acknowledgement, the City is not taking a position on the status of federal recognition for any tribe.

City Council also adopted a Local Land Acknowledgement Usage Guide(PDF, 921KB) at their June 21, 2022 Kirkland City Council meeting. The purpose of the guide is to provide options for City of Kirkland employees, volunteers, and elected/appointed officials to use Kirkland's Local Land Acknowledgement.

What is Resolution R-5434?

Resolution R-5434, adopted by City Council in August 2020, expresses the City’s commitment to examining and dismantling structural racism in Kirkland and ensuring the safety and respect of Black people. More information about the Resolution, the actions it commits the City to, and the investments made to those efforts can be found on the R-5434 webpage