With approval from Tribal Council, the Gig Harbor City Council recently approved 6-1 a proclamation to improve and promote recognition of tribal history in Gig Harbor.


The proclamation included the approval of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Native American Heritage Month, the flying of the Puyallup Nation flag, and the renaming of the Austin Estuary Park, the original site of a major village site of the Gig Harbor Band of the Puyallup Tribe.


Gig Harbor has long considered itself a Scandinavian fishing village, while failing to recognize its rich tribal history. Tribal staff will continue to work with the city to rename the park and permit/place a 15-foot tribal art piece that honors the true first fishermen of Gig Harbor along the waterfront at the site of the original village.


Puyallup Tribal Council Member Anna Bean presented the Tribe’s flag on Monday to Gig Harbor city officials.


“I am grateful for the Gig Harbor City Council being open to acknowledging the deep history of the original caretakers of this land,” Bean said. “This is a beautiful step into our journey between our two governments. Hands raised to all involved in making today and the days ahead possible.”


The City of Tacoma and Metro Parks Tacoma also issued proclamations recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Council Member Anna Bean spoke at Tacoma’s virtual meeting, and Council Member David Z. Bean spoke to the Metro Parks Board of Commissioners after the declarations.


Gig Harbor photos courtesy of Puyallup Tribal Member and Tribal Land Use Planner Jennifer Keating