American Indians of Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park has so much to offer with its majestic landscapes, abundant wildlife and natural resources. In fact, these exact factors are what attracted early inhabitants to this region and have created a rich cultural history throughout the area. The National Park Service and Delaware North Companies have both recognized that these cultural and historical resources must be protected just as the natural resources of the Park are.
These historical cultures and traditions continue to live in and around Olympic National Park as there are eight native tribes recognized as culturally significant by the National Park Service. These tribes are the Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S'Klallam, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Skokomish, Quinault, Hoh, Quileute, and Makah. Traditions, beliefs, mythologies, and practices are directly related to the Olympic Peninsula yet are unique to each tribe.
Tribal traditions dating back for thousands of years are continued today as they are passed down from generation to generation. For example, the First Salmon ceremony is carried out by coastal tribes to honor and give thanks to salmon returning from the sea. The tribes of Olympic National Park are also preserving native languages, customs and traditional arts, like basket weaving, beading, canoeing, fishing, whaling and carving. These cultural and historical resources are to be forever protected and preserved as a vital part of Olympic National Park.