Lower Elwha concerned about Port of Port Angeles' latest bridge yard proposal


Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- Leaders of the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe say they're concerned about a proposal to use 18 acres next to the shuttered graving yard project for Hood Canal Bridge construction activities.

No word about the latest Port proposal has come up during recent Tribal Council meetings, Lower Elwha Chairwoman Frances Charles said.

But tribal officials ``definitely'' will be setting up meetings regarding it, she said.

``The concern we would have is we know the Tse-whit-zen village site extends over to the 18 acres,'' Charles told Peninsula Daily News on Wednesday.

``But we haven't seen their plans or permits or had any discussions with the Port or DOT,'' Charles said.

The state Department of Transportation, or DOT, has received separate proposals to relocate all or part of the Hood Canal Bridge graving yard operation to any of 18 sites across the Olympic Peninsula and along Puget Sound.



Lower Elwha to host healing ceremony at former graving yard site on Saturday


Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- Anyone with ``an open mind and an open heart'' is invited to the Tse-whit-zen village site on Saturday for a four-hour healing ceremony with the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe.

The four-hour ceremony, which starts at noon regardless of weather, will be at the Marine Drive site of the former village unearthed during construction of the state graving yard.

There, the tribe is planning the ceremony to heal the grounds, the workers and the Port Angeles community, Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles said this week.

The event is not for political statements for or against the graving yard, she said.

Food follows ceremony

The ceremony at the site, 1501 Marine Drive, will last until 4 p.m., after which food will be provided at the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Center, 2851 Lower Elwha Road, Port Angeles.

Food donations are welcome, Charles said.

An invitation asks Native and non-Native people who want to participate ``in a positive and heartfelt way'' in the healing of the ancient village to bring drums, prayers and good spirits and participate in the spiritual ceremony.

There is no dress code for the ceremony, other than to dress warmly. Access to and from the ceremony will be limited once it begins.

Tse-whit-zen, the ancient Klallam village, is at least 1,700 years old, according to archeological evidence compiled from the site, and was occupied until 1920, when those who lived there were removed and taken outside of town, according to elders.

The village was demolished for a mill.

Graving yard halted

Most recently, it served as the location for an onshore dry dock in which the state planned to build huge pontoons, concrete anchors and decks for a new east end of the Hood Canal Bridge.

Much of the project was suspended since August 2003 when workers found evidence of the ancient village.

After months of archeological excavation, the tribe on Dec. 10 asked the state Department of Transportation to cease its work there, and the state ended the project 11 days later.

Saturday's ceremony also marks the 150th year since the signing of the Point No Point Treaty, through which the Klallam and other Olympic Peninsula tribes ceded their land to the United States.

For more information on the healing ceremony, contact the Elwha Tribal Center at 360-452-8471, Exts. 100, 102 or 106.



Makah elder tells Port of Port Townsend that Native remains unlikely on designated graving yard sites


Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND -- A Makah tribal elder who has lived most of her life in Port Townsend on Wednesday told Port commissioners they won't find tribal remains on two sites they proposed for a Hood Canal Bridge reconstruction project dry dock.

``You won't find bones in the first place,'' said McQuillen, 72, who is also a former member of the Jefferson County Historical Society.

``You will find tools.''

The state in December abandoned its graving yard project in Port Angeles after archaeologists and Lower Elwha Klallam tribal members uncovered thousands of ancestral remains and artifacts from a former Klallam village known as Tse-whit-zen.

Dating back about 1,700 years, Tse-whit-zen is said by archaeologists to be the most significant Native American find in Northwest history.

McQuillen on Wednesday held in her hands stone tool relics she said were thousands of years old and once buried by her relatives near the Port Townsend shoreline.

Some of the stones were sharpened as cutting tools, she told the commissioners.

Round circle of seven

Some of the stones, which she said were customarily buried in a round circle of seven, were left behind as landmarks to symbolically mean: ``This is still our land.''

She asked the Port of Port Townsend commissioners to make sure that if any such stones are uncovered that they are reburied should a Hood Canal Bridge graving yard be built in Port Townsend.

The Port and Port Townsend Paper Corp., in a public-private partnership, propose two possible construction sites for the bridge's east-half replacement project.

One is about 18 acres of Port-owned Boat Haven property, the other 25.75 acres of Port Townsend Paper mill land about 4,000 feet to the south.



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Back to Current Edition Citizen Review Archive LINKS Search This Site