Everyone in the community is invited to help the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and City of Tacoma dedicate the Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge, formerly known as the Puyallup River Bridge, on Friday, Aug. 9.

The dedication will recognize what happened there in the 1960s and 1970s, when the bridge was at the forefront of a battle. Puyallup fishermen exercised their treaty-guaranteed rights to fish at their usual and accustomed sites – and were arrested, beaten and violently removed. It took the Boldt Decision of 1974 to reassert the Tribe’s treaty rights.

The Tribe’s Planning, Language and Historic Preservation departments worked with the City of Tacoma’s Landmarks Preservation Committee to rename the bridge and commemorate its significance. On May 21, 2019, Tacoma’s City Council voted to rename the bridge.

“Naming this bridge after the Fishing Wars will help future generations know what happened here,” said Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman David Z. Bean. “But it is also symbolic of bridging our past with our present and our future, and of bridging our communities.”

“When I took office, I knew that I would be responsible for developing important intergovernmental relationships. I did not anticipate the deep honor I would feel to be a part of strengthening the relationship between the Puyallup Tribe and the City of Tacoma by addressing the wounds of the past and creating a better future,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “There is a sense that the relationship between our governments has changed a great deal from years past, and I hope that we will continue to build on this progress by learning more about the lived experiences of our friends and neighbors from the Puyallup Tribe.”

“Fishing Wars Bridge” is in fact one of two new names given to the bridge. The other is the Twulshootseed word “yabuk’ʷali”: “place of a fight.”

  • What: Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge Dedication
  • When: 10 to 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 9
  • Where: Shuttle pick-up address is 779 Wiley Ave., Tacoma Dome, Lot G
  • Hosts: Puyallup Tribe of Indians and City of Tacoma
  • Who: Open to everyone
  • Parking: Parking at the site is extremely limited, so the City of Tacoma will provide a shuttle service from the Tacoma Dome. The shuttle pick-up address is 779 Wiley Ave., Tacoma Dome, Lot G. Puyallup Tribal Police Department and Tacoma Police Department will provide assistance at the event.

For more event information, contact Jennifer Keating, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, at Jennifer.M.Keating@puyalluptribe-nsn.gov or (253) 382-6073.

The Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge is closed for repairs and is anticipated to open in fall of 2019. To learn more about the project, including its expected opening, please visit the City of Tacoma’s project web page.

About the Puyallup Tribe of Indians
The Puyallup People have lived along the shores of what is now called Puget Sound since time immemorial. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is a sovereign nation of more than 5,000 members and one of the largest employers in Pierce County. It serves its people and neighbors with generosity and is committed to building a sustainable way of life for future generations. Learn more about the Puyallup Tribe.

About the Puyallup Tribal Council
The Puyallup Tribal Council is the elected governing body of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The council consists of Chairman David Z. Bean, Vice Chairman Bill Sterud, Sylvia Miller, Tim Reynon, Annette Bryan, James Rideout and Anna Bean.

Contact:
Michael Thompson, Communications Director, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, (253) 382-6200; Michael.Thompson@puyalluptribe-nsn.gov