Indianz.Com > News > Puyallup Tribe welcomes decision to stop sale of National Archives facility
Chairman Bill Sterud of the Puyallup Tribe speaks with the White House about the decision to stop the sale of the National Archives center in Seattle, Washington, during a video call on April 9, 2021. Photo courtesy Puyallup Tribe
Statement from Puyallup Tribal Council on the Biden administration’s decision to halt the sale of the National Archives center in Seattle
Friday, April 9, 2021
Source: Puyallup Tribe

The following statement was released by the Puyallup Tribe in response to the sale of the National Archives at Seattle, Washington, being halted by the Biden administration.

The previous administration’s decision to fast-track the sale of the Sand Point archives center in the name of money ignored its affirmed federal trust responsibility to engage in meaningful consultation with tribes. It is heartening to see the new administration recognize its treaty responsibilities and stop the sale.

The archives complex holds history of 272 federally recognized tribes, including our own. Tribal members use the records to establish membership, show fishing rights, trace ancestry and access Native school records. These documents tell our Tribe’s story. Less than 1 percent of them are online.

Several of our members have shared their very personal stories of what access to the archives has meant to them. They shared the harm the records’ removal would mean to families attempting to learn about their ancestors, and to our Tribe in its never-ending fight to protect treaty rights.


We thank them for opening up. We thank our legal team for fighting. We thank the numerous other tribes and organizations that depend on the archives for fighting, and we thank the state attorney general for intervening and standing up for us.

This battle ended in victory. It also showed we must stay vigilant to protect our people and our treaty rights. We promise our membership that we will stay on guard.

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 Bill Sterud, Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller, David Z. Bean, Annette Bryan, James Rideout, Anna Bean, and Monica Miller.