Puyallup International, Inc. (Pii)
PII is the economic development arm of the Tribe. One of the first projects was the building of the Marina along the shores of Commencement Bay. The marina, Chinook Landing, shown here, has been accepted very well into the community and is almost always at full capacity.
In 1991, P11 assisted the Tribe by loaning money for start up funds to begin a Bingo Hall. Today, the Bingo Palace is a thriving business employing approximately 150 people.
The Board has negotiated some tribal properties for lease purposes. It is their opinion that this provides some direct income back to support other projects.
Most recently their staff and expertise were very involved assisting in the development and borrowing of money to get the casino into operation. Beginning with the development of a shore side facility and later the riverboat, Emerald Queen, shown below. This project opened in December 1996 and has been doing very well. Entertainment, fine dining and a variety of gambling have made it a huge success.
There are future plans for a Gas Station/Deli. Staff has actively been involved in identifying property that the Tribe may have an interest in purchasing. Some properties have been committed to. Looking forward to the long-range plan, final clean up of returned settlement properties has just recently occurred. Plans for the development of a Port for the Puyallup Tribe will soon become a priority.
PII is charged with a tremendous responsibility in the future economic development of the membership, which means they move very cautiously.
Few tribes have been impacted in the way the Puyallup Tribe has. In spite of it all, leadership has remained strong, consistent and dedicated in regaining our rightful place on our reservation. It has not always been an easy path but one that has moved forward.
There have been programs from the beginning for the Elders to assure a hot nutritious meal. Money for these programs has come from the government. It has never been adequate and is supplemented with tribal dollars.
Because of the loss of many children into non-Indian foster care and the state system, programs have been in existence at Puyallup to positively affect change in the outcome for our children. Every effort is made to assist families in reuniting; sometimes this takes a long time. The first goal is to protect the child. Support programs to assist parents in meaningful change, should they want it, are available. The goal ultimately is to reunite families.
Job Training has been available for years. Those who apply can work on obtaining their GED’s. Staff is supportive and patient in assisting people in finding meaningful employment.
Several years ago, the Housing program was instrumental in getting fifteen families into their own homes. With a substantial down payment for home purchase, these families have been able to find good standard housing of their own choosing.
A monthly newspaper is published that keeps the membership well informed on current activities the Tribe is involved in. Staff will often give up their weekends and holidays to keep up with activities that occur during these times.
A Tribal Archives has existed since offices became available to store the collection. Tribal Government recognized the importance of developing this department. Documents, photos, maps and clippings by the hundreds have been collected. A tribal museum began with just photos when the Tribe occupied the Administration building. It has grown and will continue to do so as we move ahead.
The Enrollment office has existed since early in the 1970s. It took years for the government to finally accept an updated roll. The base roll of 1929, was what they recognized as being the official roll for the Tribe. For this reason many were denied services for medical, education and other programs which the Bureau offered. Today the membership is over 2,000.
New programs have become available within the last few years. Our location today, in the middle of several cities, has similar problems of any urban setting. Special emphasis has been brought to the attention to our youth. Birth to Six provides support services to parents.
Gang violence and the unfortunate loss of life to young people in our community and the constant threat of losing youth to the streets has brought together programs and dedicated workers to bring change to this problem. A Tribal Strategies core team has been organized. They are working together to bring about meaningful change. There are representatives from Law Enforcement, Domestic Violence, Housing, Tribal Council and Community members. A SafeFutures program offers Teen Parenting Classes, Education, Counseling and special emphasis is placed on Culture awareness.
The Legal Department, with five full time attorneys and two support staff, assists the Council in many matters. The issues of government have become very complex. Our legal staff works on Shellfish, Gaming, Children, Environmental issues, to mention a few. We have a Code writer that assists in keeping current and updated material. The Environmental/Water Quality Department works closely with our attorneys.
Planning and Land Use staff work cooperatively with these entities. They also work with other jurisdictions such as the County and Cities on our reservation as part of the Settlement Agreement.
Under the Tribal Constitution free enterprise of members is allowed. Under the Tribal Business Code there are 17 licensed Smoke Shops. In the summer licenses for over 150 Fireworks Stands are given. The collection of tax on these businesses assists the Tribal Government in a variety of programs including Elders, Legal, Archives/Museum, Administration, a new tribal college and many others.
As we approach a new Century our vision for a better life for our people has not diminished. We recognize there are many issues yet to be resolved. We are thankful and appreciate all who help us along this path.