About Us

ʔéʔɬx̣ʷaʔ nəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕


Elwha Klallam Tribe

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is a sovereign, federally recognized Indian Nation, with its own constitution and government. Not only does the Tribe govern itself, but many Tribal administrative departments oversee the everyday function of the reservation and provide for Tribal members.

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe resides in the Lower Elwha River Valley and adjacent bluffs on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula just west of Port Angeles, Washington. As recognized by the United States in 1855’s Treaty of Point No Point, the Tribe has lived in this area since time immemorial.

The Tribe’s current landbase was initially acquired by the United States in trust for the Tribe in 1935-36 and these lands were proclaimed as the Lower Elwha Reservation in 1968. Today tribal lands include about 1,000 acres on and near the Elwha River.

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe


To ensure that the Lower Elwha Klallam people can pass on their way of life to their children.


To build a strong and healthy sovereign nation where Tribal members live their values and culture.

This means enhancing the lives of our people both physically and spiritually through social well being and economic independence while preserving and enhancing our natural resources and cultural heritage.

the Blackfish Story

as told by Adeline Smith

This story is about a Klallam man named Pysht Jack. During the turn of the century when people helped each other, at this time he had a relative who was a widow with several children, so he always helped her. She caught a lot of fish and at that time, Victoria was the only big city around, and most of the Indians traded over there.

So from the mouth of the Elwha, he brought that woman across to Victoria. As they were traveling, the weather was stormy. When they arrived in Victoria, they sold their fish. When it was time to come back, the storm really hit and they thought surely they were going to drown. The lady that was with him, she started praying and chanting for the blackfish to come and help them. In those times, there were only certain people who could speak to the blackfish. It wasn’t very long while she was meditating that the blackfish all appeared and surrounded the canoe that they were on and brought them clear across to the mouth of the Elwha River. She thanked the blackfish and then the blackfish left. It is always said by Klallam people that the blackfish are our friends.