S'Klallam Foundation

On-Going Projects

The Foundation supports many on-going projects for the enrichment of the tribal and local community. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Foundation welcomes contributions to these important projects. To donate: click here. 




 sxʷčən̕e̕ʔŋəɬ (garden)

One of the Foundation's major efforts is the continued restoration and rebirth of Heronswood Garden. Our very popular Plant Sale & Garden Open events help raise funds for this important work. Membership and garden entry fees also contribute to the maintenence and restoration of the garden. Generous donations have made upgrades to the garden facilities possible. These donations were also a major factor in the completion of the Heronswood Totem Pole Project, carved in 2016 by artist Brian Perry (learn more). Dedicated volunteers have donated countless hours to bring Heronswood back to the world-class botanical garden it once was, and work to expand it beyond what it has been.

Learn more about the garden at www.heronswoodgarden.org.

Follow Heronswood on social media: Facebook and Instagram 



The x̣ə́w̕əs shəyí (New Life) Renaissance Garden



The x̣ə́w̕əs shəyí  (New Life) Renaissance Garden is on its way to completion at Heronswood Garden. With tree ferns from Tasmania already planted and nearly 3000 native and exotic ferns in pots ready for their permanent home, this new space will not only be luxuriant in green but will also have a story to tell. Members of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe were, for over a century, employed by the Port Gamble Lumber Mill across the bay from Little Boston. The new garden will interpret this relationship with the addition of elements that will evoke a logging camp that has been reclaimed by nature, while interpreting the traditional uses of the existing trees on the property, as well as many native plants that have been historically used by our tribe and other’s in the greater Puget Sound region. With both the story of the rich relationship S'Klallam people have historically held with our native trees as well as the exciting array of native and exotic plants that will ultimately be established in the New Life garden, we are excited to be bringing together two distinct communities; horticultural enthusiasts from around the globe and our own tribal communities wishing to look upon a reenactment of a small slice of their storied history in our region.


Thanks to donations from many individuals, grants from Humanities Washington and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, Potlatch Fund, Tulalip Tribes Chairtable Conbutions Fund and Suquamish Foundation, in-kind contributions from Greg DeVault and the BlueBills, Denise Harris, Pope Resources, CasaFlora, Frankye Jones, Commitment Promise and countless hours donated by our stellar volunteers including leading volunteer efforts by John van den Meerendonk the x̣ə́w̕əs shəyí Renaissance Garden is coming to life.


Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic

 Funding through a CARES Act Humanities Relief grant from NEH and Humanities Washington is helping to underwrite the creation of interpretive signage for the x̣ə́w̕əs shəyí  (New Life) Renaissance Garden. These signs will help visitors learn about historic and contemporary cultural connections reflected in this new garden space, along with relevant horticultural information.

NEH LogoHumanities WA logo low rez



Heronswood Regional and Cultural Plants Classes



Heronswood Garden offers affordable plant classes throughout the year taught by field experts, that cover a host of practical subjects for the begginer through advanced learner. With classes ranging from propogation to native Washington plants used for medicinal purposes to foraging for mushrooms to dying with plant fibers, we are offering courses that will engender a love of plants in all of their life cycles and for all of their traditional and non-traditional uses. 

Thanks to the Mountaineers Foundation aka Keta Legacy Foundation and WEAVE-NW we are able to make these classes more affordable and varied in content. These classes help to introduce people of diverse ages, interests, and cultures to Heronswood, to gardening and to a love of plants, and for that we are very grateful. 

Thank you sponsors:


S'Klallam Language Classes

nəxʷsƛ̕ay̕əmúcən (S'Klallam Language)

Language and sense of self are intimately tied in the S'Klallam community. The S’Klallam language is an important component of the Cultural Resources Department’s work. Language instruction is provided to elementary school children (K-5). Contributed funding helps to underwrite the cost of language materials and supplies, allowing us to expand language class offerings to older youth and adults. 

We thank: The Potlatch Fund, Charity Trust of the Puyallup Tribe, Quinault Indian Nation Charity Fund, Suquamish Tribe, TulalipTribes Charitable Fund, and the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe Community Awards Program.

háʔnəŋ cən! (Thank you). 


Tribal Canoe Journeys


snə̕xʷɬ yaʔyiyəŋ (canoe journey)

The tribal canoe journey is a re-awakening of the canoe culture of ancient times, brought back to many tribes in 1982 with the Paddle to Seattle. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe is known for its elaborate hosting of this event. Tribes coming to Port Gamble S'Klallam shores know they will be served traditional foods (clam bake, salmon, crab and oysters) upon arrival. Visiting tribes are invited to share in cultural exchanges of tribal songs and dances in the House of Knowledge (x̣čn̕w̕txʷ), and are offered places to pitch their tents at night. This event is open to the public, with shuttles offering rides to vistors throughout the day. 

The canoe families represent tribes from all over the Pacific Northwest, Canada and other parts of the world. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Canoe Family prides itself on being a drug free canoe. The Canoe Family fundraises throughout the year to help pay for the annual journey. If you would like to support the Canoe Family, please designate your Foundation donation to the Port Gamble S'Klallam Canoe Family.

The Canoe Family wishes to personally thank all those who make the journeys possible by donating time, money and strength to the journey. A special thanks goes out to Tad Sooter, whose willingness to capture the magic of the journey for the Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe has allowed us to relive our favorite times together. Visit this link to view a video done by Sooter on the important return Journey to Bella Bella in 2014: here

Tribal Art

HeronTotum 2

čča̕təŋ (create)

Traditionally, many S'Klallam people were weavers, carvers, and creators. Art forms were apprenticed and shared with select, talented individuals. For decades, tribal art was suppressed by outside forces. However, a resurgence of practicing artists has been long-forming in this community. Some artists follow traditional methods of weaving cedar or wool, carving canoes, rattles and paddles. Other S'Klallam artists express themselves in modern mediums. We are proud of the quality of S'Klallam art and are always looking for ways to promote the local talent of the S'Klallam people. A rotating group of artists showcase their work at many of the Plant Sale & Garden Open events. The Foundation is always loking to promote local artists and accepts donations for this endeavor.

Totem Pole Projects

The totem pole projects are just one of the ways in which tribal artists have been supported in their cultural arts heritage. We thank the following funders: Port Gamble S'Klallam Charitable Fund, The Hugh & Jane Ferguson Foundation, The Norcliffe Foundation, Potlach Fund Native Arts, TRIFAM FoundationJohn A. Wott, PhD, Sue Hanna, and Steph Carpenter. 

Heronswood Totem Pole (2016)-Hopi-Cheelth Brian Perry, PG S'Klallam

Visitors to Heronswood Garden are greeted by the Coast Salish “Heron & Frog” totem pole as soon as they enter the property. This impressive two-sided carving was the first totem pole S’Klallam artist Brian Perry (Hopi-Cheelth) carved. It is one of two poles commissioned by the Foundation as a public art initiative. Perry’s pole reflects the iconic heron and frog motif that has been symbollic of Heronswood since its inception three decades ago, when it was founded by Dan Hinkley and Robert Jones.  (see more)



"Generations" Pole (2017)-James "Jimmy" Price, PG S'KlallamGenerationsTotemPole 3


The second pole titled "Generations" stands on the bluff above Point Julia landing and Port Gamble Bay, within Jake Jones Park on the reservation. The pole serves as a sign of protection and welcome to fishers and seafood harvesters as they come and go off the water, as well as a strong cultural beacon to tribal canoes, boaters on the Bay, and for those walking along the shore. This is S'Klallam artist and carver James Price's first pole as well. He dedicated it to generations past, present and future who influence his life and work.



The Community Garden

šə́wi (grow)

Purchasing fruits and vegetables can be a financial burden for families on tight budgets. The Tribe’s community garden helps to alleviate the cost burden on our tribal community by allowing members to harvest fruits and vegetables for free, to help ensure no one goes hungry. Garden produce also supports hunger-relief programs such as the PGST food bank, Early Head Start and the Elders meal program. 

The Community Garden project, spearheaded by Council Member Renee Veregge in 2016, was developed and is maintained by community volunteers and tribal staff under the guidance and constant care of Community Garden manager Mary Oliver. The garden site includes a greenhouse with numerous raised beds, a secure tool shed and fencing to keep critters at bay. 

Diabetes, obesity and hypertension are conditions many community members struggle with. By providing nutritious food and education to community members, the Community Garden helps us to live healthier lives. 

 We thank: The Nisqually Tribe, USDA, and the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe.


Transport Vans

Photo Elders Van 1
ʔáw c yaʔyíyəŋ (go on a short trip)

Many of our elders are unable to drive, or lack transportation options since public buses do not serve the reservation. The Elder Services Program provides our seniors transportation to and from a variety of activities, including medical and dental visits. It also delivers hot meals daily to seniors in their homes and transports elders on group outings. A new 15-passenger van, underwritten by generous donations, helps us to address these transit needs. 

We thank: Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, Norcliffe Foundation, and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Community Awards Program.

The Health Department is an integral component of Tribal services, helping ensure the health and wellbeing of all tribal members, and reducing many of the common barriers to healthcare access among Native American populations. One of the most important services provided by the Health Department is the ability to provide free transportation to and from medical appointments throughout the Puget Sound for patients in need. Families on the reservation are predominately low-income, and have limited or no transportation alternatives. Additionally, many patients are confined to a wheelchair or use walking devices, and cannot drive. The PGST Health Department provides a specially outfitted handicap and wheelchair accessible vehicle to accommodate all our patients’ transportation needs. Each week up to 20 tribal members rely on our transport services for travel to and from specialty clinics, treatment services, and doctor visits in Kitsap County, Seattle, Tacoma, and beyond. Thanks to our contributors, reliable and comfortable handicap accessible vans have been purchased to allow us to continue these important transportation services in support of the community.

We thank:  Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund.



Charitable gifts helped the Career and Education Department to replace an old and failing van with a 15-passenger van. This safe, reliable and more fuel-efficient vehicle makes possible student transport to such activities as off-site summer school programs, field trips, before- and after-school educational events, college visits, language and cultural events at other tribes, and staff trainings.

We thank: Suquamish Tribe, Forest Foundation, and Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund.



Cultural Classes and Weekends


ʔəkʷə́yəŋ (weave)

Charitable contributions have helped to fund a wide variety of new cultural classes and weekend workshops designed to keep S’Klallam culture and traditions alive and practiced. Developed by the Tribe’s Cultural Department and the Sustainable Little Boston program, community members have been able to learn a variety of skills including how to build a smokehouse, fillet and smoke fish; harvest cedar bark properly, prepare cedar for weaving, and weave mats and other items; shellfish harvesting and holding a clambake; plant identification and the nutritional and medicinal uses of traditional foods. Tribal song, dance and drumming is always an important component of these cultural gatherings.

We thank: Charlotte Martin Foundation, McElevey Charitable Foundation, and The Potlatch Fund.


Education and Youth Activities

skʷúkʷəltxʷ (teach in school)

 enrichment2School Enrichment Programming

The Tribe’s Career & Education Department takes an active role with K-12 students, providing comprehensive academic supports inside and outside of the classroom, with an approach strongly rooted in cultural traditions, connecting academics to tribal values and practices. Over the past fourteen years we have seen dramatic progress through our unique summer enrichment programming and wrap-around educational support for our children; reducing high school dropout rates from 25% in 2003 to less than 1% today. 

The Tribe’s Middle School Summer Environmental Enrichment program addresses the unique cultural and academic needs of students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade within the context of STEM curricula. 

The enrichment programming uses academic coaches to work closely with students to enhance math and science curricula within the cultural context of the Tribe’s history and tradition, while at the same time supporting the principles of environmental stewardship and conservation. The program presents STEM education through the combination of tribal elder's knowledge and modern environmental science. Experiential learning activities cover environmental stewardship, renewable resources, the environment of Port Gamble Bay, beaches, creeks, forests and archaeological sites. Skills learned include teamwork, species identification, diversity of environment, technology, numeracy skills, S'Klallam language literacy, critical critiquing, comparing and contrasting, steam seining, scientific method, surveying, anthropological skills and field notes. In addition to experiencing the tools and techniques used in scientific disciplines today, Tribal elders use this opportunity to share stories of the ways ancestors used and cared for natural resources and why these resources need to be protected today.

In 2018, the addition of winter and spring sessions to the established summer curriculum, will offer new and different habitats, ecosystems, life cycles, and climates for a much wider range of environmental study. Each of the two new sessions will focus on a different aspect of sustainability, with an emphasis on individualized and hands-on community projects, including: rain catch barrels and green building methods. 

We thank: The Russell Family Foundation and Discuren Charitable Foundation


 Before and After School Enrichment

The Tribe’s before- and after-school academic support and enrichment programming helps our students strengthen their educational achievement: Wolfle Elementary Before School Reading and Math Program, Kingston Middle School After School Math and Reading Program, Afterschool High School Homework Program, and Elementary, Middle School and High School Incentive Awards Program, Grade Raisers, and All Stars.

We thank: Wells Fargo, Safeco and Lucky Seven Foundation.


The Wolfle Summer Experience

The Wolfle Summer Experience Programprovides two weeks of academic instruction and enrichment for elementary students during the summer months. Activities focus on strengthening literacy and math skills, and providing rich cultural and art experiences through hands-on classroom activities and field trips to local areas of interest. The Friends of the Library stop by each week to distribute free books for every child. A nutritious breakfast and hot lunch is served to every day, and weekend food packets are sent home with the children.

We thank: Discuren Charitable Foundation


Stem Camps



The PGST Education department has been promoting hands-on and cultulally inspired science-based learning for S'Klallam students with STEM camps throughout the year. The pictured 2018 Winter science camp focused on alternative energy sources.S'Klallam Middle Schoolers (left) are helping install solar lighting in one of the sunniest areas of the beach, the hill up from Point Juila beach at Jake Jones Park, a very popular barbeque and celebration area for tribal members. 

Another science camp focused on the community garden, planting native species and learning about in-ground well systems. 


We thank: The Russell Family Foundation whose educational support has been invaluable




Places of Importance-Youth Services and Culture Departments



The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe is on of Twenty-one Indigenous organizations, schools, and nonprofits who have been awarded travel funds for trips to national park units across 12 states/territories within the United States. 

These trips will emphasis the importance of place in S'Klallam history, culture and current well-being. Youth taking part in Places of Importance trips will be encouraged to encounter the land their ancestors roaming, lived in, hunted and gathered in.

To learn more about this grant, visit: https://www.nps.gov

We thank: Hopa Mountain and the National Park Service


Port Gamble Bay Clean-Up & Environmental Sustainability

nəxʷq̕i̕yt sč̕e̕ʔəyəxʷ (Port Gamble Bay)


The Tribe has been diligent in protecting Port Gamble Bay and has put tremendous efforts and resources into seeing that the bay is returned to a healthy state. The Port Gamble S'Klallam Foundation has supported this effort in many ways including securing and supporting grant requests. In 2014, the tribe spent over 2 million dollars in staff and resources over the course of the year to investigate water quality, removing harmful docks and pilings from their own beach, and encouraging the Department of Ecology to look into the water quality of the bay. The tribe's resources were not wasted when, from 2015-2017, Pope and Talbot, with financial assistance from the Department of Ecology, removed harmful pilings from Point Julia Bay. The result in water quality and removal of toxins was immediate. The removal was celebrated in 2017, when the Port Gamble tribe pulled up onto the shores of Port Gamble village and celebrated the clean-up with local officials. 

The Tribe works with the natural seasons as the fish return to the hatchery at Point Julia. The salmon eggs are taken and nurtured into small fish so they can be released into the bay. Many of the returning fish are smoked or canned, providing sustenance to tribal families. In 2012, the tribe resurrected the Return of the Salmon ceremony, thanking the salmon for nourishing their people.

Aquaculture Policy 

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A grant from the First Nations Development Institute (FNDI) of Longmont, Colorado supports  the efforts of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s S’Klallam Shellfish Grow-Out Expansion--an initiative that  primarily serves the Port Gamble S’Klallam community in writing shellfish aquaculture policy, community outreach, sustaining shellfish populations for community subsistence, and later expanding on the shellfish populations for commercial production. This grant is through FNDI’s Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative and made possible through generous support from the American Heart Association and the Shakopee Mdwekanton Sioux Community.



Employment Training

čáʔiʔ cxʷ (you and I are working)

workstaionAn employment training program is underway through the Tribe’s Career and Education Department that provides fundamental skill building for community members who have experienced repeated difficulty finding employment. Participants can learn how to search for jobs, build their resumes, interview and learn or hone their computer skills. Target populations include those who are entering the workforce for the first time, those returning to the workforce after a significant absence, and those who are currently under-employed and in need of further training and experience to advance their career. 

Grant dollars allowed us to purchase the needed laptops and software for the program. Within the program’s first year this basic equipment benefited 39 Summer Youth Workers for resume development; 40 community members for resume writing skills and employment search data; 45 clients at Tribal and Community Job fairs; and 60 Re-entry clients to build their resumes as they sought meaningful employment post-incarceration.

We thank:  Bank of America Foundation, and the Suquamish Tribal Charities.

Past Projects 

x̣čna̕w̕txʷ (House of Knowledge)


Constructed between the years 2004 and 2009, The House of Knowledge, gifted the S'Klallam name x̣čna̕w̕txʷ by the Jamestown tribe, received the "Excellence in Construction" award in 2010. Designed by Johnston Architects of Seattle and Cutler/Anderson of Bainbridge Island, the modern take on the traditional longhouse is a complex of four buildings.

The Education Center, Elder's Center, the Kitsap Regional Library (KRL) and the beautiful longhouse are decorated with elegant formline designs on the exterior and interior of the building. Duane Pasco, artist and friend to the S'Klallam people, led a group of S'Klallam artists in designing the exterior and interior panels of the longhouse.

The Port Gamble S'Klallam people now have a beautiful ceremonial house and accompanying educational complex in which to expand their work towards fostering cultural traditions and emphasizing educational success for their tribal members. 


x̣čŋənáw̕txʷ (Little Boston Branch of the KRL Library)Library

The Little Boston Library was one of the four buildings constructed as part of the House of Knowledge complex, a capital campaign coordinated by the Port Gamble S'Klallam Foundation. The new Library, housed on the Port Gamble S'Klallam Reservation, was dedicated on October 2, 2007. 

Before the new facility opened, in 1998 the Little Boston Library received a Service Award for Excellence from the National Public Library Association. The staff are always friendly and helpful. Amenities include several computers and a meeting room, and choice pieces of S'Klallam and other Native American art. The Little Boston Library is noted for having the largest selection of Native American books of all KRL library branches.

The House of Knowledge complex, including the Little Boston Library, would not have been built if it had not been for many, many volunteers and donors. Friends from Hansville and the communities that surround the reservation have been supportive of the library through volunteering and donations for many years now. They continue to support the library funds through the Greater Hansville Community Center and as individual donors.

Visit us here or online: Little Boston Library, KRL. 

 We Thank: Brown & Brown Insurance, Ferrell Gas, Greater Hansville Community Center, Suquamish Indian Tribe, TriFam Foundation, and many individual donors. 


Tribal Elder Portraits
kʷɬčə́q (elder) elders

In 2011, 28 stunning portraits were taken of our beloved elders by Eduardo Calderon in the interior and exterior of the tribal longhouse. Each print was matted and framed with archival materials attached. The tribe also recieved a high-resolution scanned image to accompany the printed portraits, so that family members can have access to the pictures of their loved ones, upon request.

We thank: Archibald Charitible Foundation, Puget Sound Engery Foundation and PGST Community Awards. 

Preschool Building & Playground 


preschool 2

k̕ʷiy̕nəq (to hand down advice, learning to younger generations)

During 2011 and 2012 the Foundation was actively involved in seeking grants and fundraising for a greatly needed new Preschool Building. On the happy day of March 13, 2013, a grand opening was held to celebrate the completion of the new facility.

Now the new Preschool Building is complete and resonates with the sounds of children and their teachers, the tribe focused on the need for play and outdoors activity. The new playground enhanced the existing playground with safe places where children can explore and build on their S'Klallam culture: a safe water feature, organic textures for infants and toddlers, a new clambake area for social picnics, a garden area, new play equipment and more—all giving children opportunities to play and learn. As a fundraiser, the preschool sold 12"x12" engraved tiles during the first half of 2013. We are very grateful to the people who bought engraved tiles.

Veteran's Memorial
nəxʷščánkʷən (brave)


The men and women of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe have a rich and dedicated history of serving in various branches of the U.S. Military. Since the 1980's, a gathering for the member Veterans is held each Veteran's Day. A committee of tribal veterans was formed to work towards developing a permanent memorial. That memorial has been realized. 

As part of the overall House of Knowledge master plan, a space outside the existing longhouse was designated as a permanent home for the memorial park, kept watch by the flanking totem poles. The purpose of the Veteran's Memorial is to honor the Veterans of the Port Gamble S'Klallam community and their families. Four steel sculptures in the form of whale tales were installed with the names of community members who have served in the U.S. Military. One of the whale tale sculptures tells the history of their service. The surrounding area was landscaped with low maintenance, native plants. 

Approximately 20 veterans and family members were involved in planning the Veterans Memorial. Approximately 225 people attended the dedication of the Veterans Memorial. The Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 11, 2007 in conjunction with the Tribe's annual Veterans Honoring. 

We Thank: Puyallup Tribe, Potlach Fund, LarsonCasteel