Hazel Sampson, oldest Klallam member, passes away at 101

Hazel Sampson, the oldest member of the three Klallam tribes in Washington, died on Tuesday. She was 101.

Sampson was fluent in Klallam and helped develop a dictionary in the language. She was the last of her generation to have grown up speaking the language first instead of English.

“She was the last one,” Jamie Valadez, a Klallam language teacher, told The Peninsula Daily News. “[Her death] changes the dynamics of everything."

Sampson was a member of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe but was closely involved with the other two Klallam tribes in Washington.

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Eldest member among Klallam tribes, last native speaker of language dies in Port Angeles at 103 (The Peninsula Daily News 2/6)

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