Land & Community Partners
Indigenous Land Acknowledgement
Finnriver recognizes the necessity and the complexities of trying to make an Indigenous land acknowledgment. The Native history of Chimacum (Čə́məq̓əm) is multifaceted and emerges from the experiences and perspectives of many cultures and peoples moving through this landscape for 14,000 years, if not longer. Known for its once fertile camas prairie, abundant salmon runs in Chimacum Creek, multiple village settlements, sacred sites, and ample beaver, elk, and deer populations, Chimacum was a lively region that witnessed many millennia of Indigenous dwelling and travel.
We acknowledge that Finnriver is occupying the unjustly colonized lands that are the traditional and contemporary territories of the S’Klallam (Nəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕) and the Chemakum (Aqokúlo or Čə́məq̓əm), and we are committed to the continued education and action that upholds and honors the Indigenous experience, past and present. As we deepen our awareness, we grow to understand our responsibilities as settlers on this land and commit to the work of respectful and humble relationship.
Ancestral S’Klallam homelands span from the Hoko River to Indian Island, with villages anchored along the shoreline of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains. The Chemakum--a non-Coast Salish* community--became displaced from their relatives, the Hoh and Quileute, during a large tsunami in pre-colonial times. Chemakum survivors relocated from the far west of the Olympic Peninsula to S’Klallam territory, settling in what is known as the Chimacum region. As a result, the Chemakum formed close ties with their S’Klallam neighbors, sharing villages and intermarrying into S’Klallam families despite speaking different languages. Although Chemakum individuals signed the 1855 Treaty of Point No Point alongside S’Klallam, Twana, and Skokomish leaders, the Chemakum eventually became incorporated into S’Klallam communities as a single entity.
Additional Indigenous nations met, traded, and gardened in this area, includingthe Snohomish (Sdoh-doh-hohbsh), other Coast Salish peoples, and the Makah (Qʷidiččaʔa·tx̌). We acknowledge that Indigenous people have been here since time immemorial and that this land will continue to hold deep significance for present and future generations of local Native communities.
On this farm, we also acknowledge the legacy of Lag-wah of the Snohomish people, who was among a number of Coast Salish refugees who relocated to Chimacum Prairie when their Puget Sound villages were burned down by Euro-American settlersin the mid 1800’s. The nucleus of this Chimacum community was the dairy farm of Lag-wah (“Sally”) and William Bishop Sr., a former British seaman. Not only did other mixed-ancestry households buy land or camp around the edges of the Bishop property, but William and Sally Bishop's sons--Thomas G. Bishop (1859-1923) and William Bishop Jr. (1861-1934)--became pioneer Native American political leaders: Thomas as founder of the first inter-tribal treaty-rights organization, the Northwest Federation of American Indians (NFAI), and William Jr. as an outspoken state legislator and first president of the Snohomish Tribe of Indians. Descendants of William and Sally Bishop and their Native and mixed-ancestry neighbors continued to live in the Chimacum area and to identify as Native American, many specifically as Snohomish, into the twenty-first century, although in 2003 the Snohomish Tribe of Indians was denied federal recognition despite signing the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. (Source: https://historylink.org/File/20249)
It was also during the late 1800s that the S’Klallam were forced to leave Port Townsend and adjacent areas. S’Klallam homes were burned by government officials, and city ordinances legally banned the S’Klallam from entering white settlements without a chaperone. Anyone who defied these orders faced hefty fines and possible incarceration. Many S’Klallam individuals were exiled to Indian Island, Port Gamble, and Jamestown (near Sequim), where they occupied small ancestral village sites.
This region is complex, containing a multitude of experiences related to ancient S’Klallam history and cosmology, as well as Chemakum and Snohomish refugees during times of cultural crisis and political duress. We acknowledge the ongoing harmful impacts of the settler colonialism responsible for the displacement of Indigenous nations from these territories, and we stand in solidarity for continued Indigenous sovereignty.
We encourage folks visiting from near and far to research the Indigenous history of and continued presence on the Chimacum Prairie and beyond.
Some useful educational resources include:
The čičməhán Trail, an educational walking and biking path dedicated to S’Klallam history located in Port Townsend
The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe(StətíɬəmNəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕), based near Sequim:
The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (NəxʷqíytNəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕):
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (ʔéʔɬx̣ʷaʔNəxʷsƛ̕áy̕əm̕), near Port Angeles:
The Snohomish Tribe of Indians (on Puget Sound, north of Seattle and south of Whidbey Island in what is now Edmonds):
The Quileute Nation, on the Pacific coastline, near La Push, and the Hoh Tribe (Chalá·at), near Forks. (The Quileute and Hoh are related to the Chemakum, who sought shelter in S’Klallam territory after a massive flood.):
Coast Salish Country, dedicated to Coast Salish landscapes, archaeology, and oral histories of the Olympic Peninsula:
* “Coast Salish” is an anthropological “umbrella” term used to refer to Native nations whose territories occupy lands bordering the Salish Sea, which consists of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, Georgia Strait, and numerous bays, inlets, rivers, and lakes. In Washington, these include communities such as the S’Klallam, the Snohomish, the Skokomish, the Suquamish, the Puyallup, and the Duwamish, amongst many others. Coast Salish tribes are unique in their lands and livelihoods, though share related languages and cultural customs. It is best practice to refer to individual Indigenous communities by their nations’ names, acknowledging that Coast Salish is a general term that describes dozens of such communities--and a term that was not used by Coast Salish peoples themselves until fairly recently.
With thanks to many folks who contributed insights and input to this statement.
Finnriver Farm Collaborative
We work at Finnriver with a community-minded group of farmers and organizations to share ground, equipment, resources and outreach opportunities. The Finnriver Farm Collaborative works together to grow vibrant agricultural and conservation partnerships through research, restoration and education.
Our common purpose is to explore and model how land and resource conservation, organic farming, and community-oriented rural enterprise can all work and thrive together.
You can learn more about this collaborative and the good work of these partners on a self-guided farm walk or on one of our summer Orchard Tours.
Organic Seed Alliance, a local nonprofit and national leader on organic seed, advances ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world. Through research, education, and advocacy, we closely engage farmers and connect them to leading researchers, seed companies, chefs and other players in a resilient food supply. Our Research Farm at Finnriver is home to varieties in development – the heirlooms of tomorrow – and trials of wide ranging crops to identify the best ones for organic farming in this region.
360.385.7192 • www.seedalliance.org
North Olympic Salmon Coalition promotes robust wild salmon stocks for families, fishers, and local economies by furthering habitat restoration and education on the North Olympic Peninsula. Finnriver Orchard is a base camp for the Salmon Coalition’s dedicated volunteers and home to its native plant nursery, a place for community members of all ages to gather and deepen their understanding and love of the Peninsula through meaningful volunteer and hands-on outdoor learning experiences. Join us!
360.379.8051 • www.nosc.org
Essential Blooms is a small-scale flower endeavor that grows and sells unique, unusual and sometimes forgotten ower seeds and cut owers. Our blooms are grown with the intention to inspire an aesthetic appreciation for earth’s beauty and a spirit of responsibility for the natural environment.
888.575.0272 • www.essential-blooms.com
We are a local, nonprofit land conservation organization dedicated to preserving the rural character and iconic landscapes of Jefferson County. Our vision is to live in and partner to support a healthy, thriving community where residents and visitors feel at home in our natural areas and where the entire community is involved in stewarding these lands for the future. In partnership with the community, the Land Trust has helped to protect and manage more than 16,500 acres of our area’s most important places.
At Finnriver, Jefferson Land Trust helped place a voluntary conservation agreement on the historic Brown Farm that once operated on this site. This permanently protects its agricultural soils for future generations by ensuring that the farm is kept under single ownership with 5 acres set aside for buildings and the rest for agriculture. The east bank of Chimacum Creek is protected as well, creating a 35-foot buffer to support healthy wildlife habitat and salmon recovery efforts. The evolution of this iconic farm property is an exciting example of how we collaborate to keep farmland in production and protected forever.
360.379.9501 • www.saveland.org
We are a small, grassroots non-profit working on earth repair, agriculture, seed collecting, nursery sales, tree planting, fruit picking, permaculture, agroforestry, ethnobotany, medicinal herb growing and wildcrafting. We are happy to grow a garden at Finnriver full of colorful, fragrant, healing plants.
360.643.9178 • www.friendsofthetrees.net
Finnriver had to have an old oil tank removed from the ground and contracted with The Remediators, who are mycoremediation and phytoremediation experts who ‘clean soil using fungi.’ The Integrated Biological Approach is a living partnership between natures recyclers using fungi, soil bacteria, and hyper accumulating plants that gobble toxins from soil and water. Their natural process breaks down the pollutants and restores the soil to health!
360.461.1361 • www.theremediators.com
Power Trip Energy is dedicated to improving the future of our community and our state through the use of renewable energy technologies. At Finnriver we installed an expandable grid-tied system of 212 solar panels thanks to support from the community and a USDA Rural Energy for America program. These panels cover 3,000 square feet of roof space at the Cider Garden, with an estimated annual production of 65,000 kWh of electricity. This powers the operation with renewable sunshine and sends green energy back into the power grid — and helps promote a renewable energy future!
Finnriver was awarded a USDA Rural Energy for America Program grant to help fund this project and also received community support from a crowd-funded Barnraiser campaign. Thanks to everyone who helped us light up this solar system!
360.643.3080 • www.powertripenergy.com