Community Investments

Safe communities, excellent schools, decent jobs, clean air and water, good health and reliable roads and transportation—these are the things hoped for by every Washingtonian. We want our kids to have more opportunities than were given to us and we value a culture where neighbors help neighbors. 

Washington’s tribal governments are making investments with the purpose of helping their tribal citizens and broader community realize these dreams.

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Preserving Culture

Ensuring Native American communities, arts and culture thrive.

Thriving tribal communities, arts and culture are critically important to Washington’s tribes. Native American culture has flourished in our region for thousands of years. By investing in tribal community-building organizations, museums, art and cultural centers, school programs, song and dance, language, carving and the annual Canoe Journey, Washington’s tribes are working to ensure native culture continues to be an integral part of our regional identity, for Indians and non-Indians alike.

Language is like water for their roots. Ted Moomaw, Colville’s Waterfalls Immersion School
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Improving Lives

Encouraging healthy lifestyles through investments in health care, education and addiction treatment.

$5.23M Donated to charitable organizations
$10.97M Granted to local Governments to offset impacts of tribal gaming
$2.63M Given to smoking cessation programs
$3.33M Given to problem gambling programs

*2017 Data from Washington State Gambling Commission (Reported in 2019)

Washington’s tribal governments are making investments and charitable contributions that improve people’s lives and support neighboring local governments, especially in health care, education and responsible gambling.

Charitable giving: Tribal governments that operate Class III gaming facilities make contributions to support charitable organizations, local governments, smoking cessation and problem-gambling programs. Over the past decade, thousands of organizations—from school districts to local first responder agencies to food banks to performing arts organizations—have received millions from the tribes.

Health care: Tribes are building health clinics and supporting wellness activities for all members of the community–young and old, sick and well.

Education: Tribal governments are developing and operating early learning centers, schools, libraries and youth activity facilities throughout Washington. Most tribes also provide substantial financial support to college students.

Responsible gambling: Tribes provide support services for problem gambling and have contributed tens of millions of dollars for a wide range of associated education, prevention, treatment and wellness programs.

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Sustaining the Environment and Natural Resources

Restoring and protecting important cultural and natural resources.

Washington’s rich natural resources provide thousands of jobs for tribal members and non-tribal members alike. Our state’s Native American tribes are committed to making investments in smart natural resources management and environmental planning so that our culture and resources can be productive and protected for many generations to come.

Tribal natural resource and environmental planning programs play an important role in balancing the sustainable harvest of salmon, game, timber and other resources with environmental restoration and the protection of sensitive species and habitats. Tribes conduct activities across Washington to solve problems at the ecosystem level, including watershed planning, water quality programs, environmental education and assessments, salmon recovery and more.

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Building Community

Investing in local economies, infrastructure and critical community services.

Washington’s tribes invest in creating sustainable economies, improving infrastructure and providing critical services throughout the state.

Economic development: Hundreds of millions in gaming revenue is invested into non-gaming enterprises, such as hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, tourist attractions, retail, forest products, fisheries, agriculture, ranching, real estate development, manufacturing, aquaculture and more.

Public safety: The tribes invest in public safety and emergency services to protect all citizens, property and natural resources. This includes funding for the police, courts, emergency medical response and fire departments.

Transportation/utilities: From road projects to public transit services to water treatment facilities, Washington tribes contribute funds to making our state’s infrastructure safe and effective.

Housing: Providing adequate housing, especially for low-income families and the elderly, is a priority for Washington’s tribes. Throughout the state, tribes are constructing new homes and apartments to meet this critical need.

Robust reservation economies are not just good for Indians, but also bring more land, buildings, people and resources into participation in the Washington economy. Economist Jonathan Taylor