Honor Walk

About 50 participants either walked two and a half, seven or 12 miles or took a shuttle bus to take in the history of the former Nisqually Tribe allotments condemned by the city of Tacoma to grow the size of then-Ft. Lewis. Here, walkers move through the prairie and garry oaks ecosystem that is part of their name, meaning “People of the Grass” along with “People of the River.” Chief Leschi refused to sign the first treaty because it did not include the prairies where camas and other roots were used by Nisqually for food.

For the past 13 years, the Nisqually Tribe, in cooperation with Joint Base Lewis McChord, has held an honor walk on lands that were taken from Nisqually Tribe in 1918 to enlarge the military base. Approximately two-thirds of the reservation that was allotted to Nisqually in their treaty was taken by the city of Tacoma for the base, including a huge part of the grassland prairies that Chief Leschi and his brother Quiemuth specifically sought to include in the treaty. Today, JBLM manages parts of those lands for camas by controlled burning and manages cedar trees for the bark that the tribe can access. Those who were displaced are remembered with stops along the way that note who lived there or the cemetery and churches that were located there. Most of the graves have been moved, including Leschi and his brother, who were moved twice.

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