Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State

Join Puget Sound Tribes in Praying for Snoqualmie Falls

ICTMN Staff
6/21/12

As part of National Sacred Places Prayer Days there will be a gathering, rain or shine, on Friday, June 22nd, at 11:30 a.m. at Snoqualmie Falls in Snoqualmie, Washington. Snoqualmie Falls is one of the state’s most popular scenic attractions, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors a year.

Snoqualmie Falls is much more than a tourist attraction, however. It’s been a sacred place for the Snoqualmie and other tribes of the Puget Sound region for thousands of years. When the glaciers receded, the fertile plain near the falls offered the tribes an incredible bounty of edible bulbs, berries, and roots. The upper Snoqualmie River became a seasonal meeting place for trade for many tribes, and the Snoqualmie Tribe established a camp at the base of Mount Si.

The 268-foot falls are listed on the Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property, but that hasn’t kept the falls free from encroachment from business concerns in the region. Puget Sound Energy owns and operates a hydroelectric facility there, diverting a significant portion of the water from the river before it can complete the Sacred Cycle of reaching the base of the falls and creating a healing connection. This process, which is a transformation to the legendary mists that connect worlds, carry prayers, and deliver blessings, is not the only part of the falls that have suffered. Access to the base of the falls specifically, a spiritually powerful location, has been blocked, and will continue to be closed to visitors until sometime in 2013. Puget Sound Energy, a public utility, owns and operates a public park located there.

The gathering hopes to draw attention to this situation, and re-establish the falls as a sacred and crucial part of the Snoqualmie Tribe and Puget Sound Native’s lives, culture and history.

For more information on the gathering, please contact Lois Sweet Dorman, Snoqualmie, at nightfishes@qwest.net.

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