Kirkland Adopts Native History Document & Land Acknowledgement Guide

Published on June 22, 2022

Kirkland-Native-History-Document Image

Media Contact: 
David Wolbrecht
Communications Program Manager
dwolbrecht@kirklandwa.gov
(425) 587-3021

As part of the June 21, 2022, Kirkland City Council meeting, the Council adopted a Kirkland Native History Document and an associated Local Land Acknowledgement Usage Guide for use by City personnel.  Both documents can be downloaded from the City’s website.

The sixteen-page Kirkland Native History Document is intended to provide as accurate as possible a historical narrative of Kirkland’s Native history.  It is a compilation of information and images excerpted from numerous sources—conversations with Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Snoqualmie and Suquamish Tribal leaders, Lushootseed language speakers and academic experts, websites, books, articles, maps, and interviews—comprising the City’s best understanding at this time. It is not intended to be viewed as a definitive scientific or scholarly document.

“We are grateful for the time, effort, and guidance of the Tribal leaders and other experts who collaborated with City staff on this project,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Neal Black. “The City will use this document as a reference for other policy documents, plans, and programs, and we hope it serves as a helpful reference for Kirkland residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Also during the June 21 Council meeting, the Council adopted a Local Land Acknowledgement Usage Guide, which is intended to provide options for City employees, volunteers, and elected/appointed officials to use Kirkland’s Local Land Acknowledgement.  The City’s Local Land Acknowledgement was adopted by Council at its December 16, 2021, Council meeting.  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. 

“Recognition of the people that lived here before colonialization is an important step in creating a welcoming and belonging community,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Kelli Curtis. “The adopted land acknowledgement usage guide will assist City personnel – whether elected or appointed officials, City staff, or volunteers – in how to best honor the Native people of present-day Kirkland.”   

Kirkland’s land acknowledgement was developed in collaboration with various Tribal leaders, who provided guidance, suggestions, and insight. The City’s land acknowledgement is specific to Kirkland and is not the official position of any of the consulted Tribal organizations nor intended to provide a position on the federal recognition for any Tribe.  More information is available on the City’s website.