On Saturday, February 20th, the Snoqualmie Tribe held its first Snoqualmie Tribal Vaccination Clinic on the Snoqualmie Reservation. As a sovereign nation, the Tribe is able to order COVID-19 vaccines for its community and determine its own methodology for prioritizing population groups for vaccination separate from the State of Washington’s phased plan.
“It is critical to the Snoqualmie Tribe that we are able to provide for our Tribal Members and Tribal Community by providing COVID-19 vaccines to anyone who wants to receive one,” said Snoqualmie Tribal Chairman Robert de los Angeles. The Tribe is currently administering the Moderna vaccine.
Congresswoman Kim Schrier toured the Tribe’s Vaccination Clinic in the morning and visited with Snoqualmie Tribal leaders and leadership from Eastside Fire & Rescue and the University of Washington School of Nursing. Representative Schrier is the only pediatrician in Congress and she represents Washington’s 8th Congressional District which includes the Snoqualmie Reservation.
“I’m so glad that I was able to visit the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Vaccination Clinic last weekend. What I saw was a really well-run, streamlined system getting people their shots and out the door. The Tribe’s Vaccination Clinic is an example of what happens when we share best practices and learn from others,” said Congresswoman Schrier. “It is a big relief to see high-risk members of the Tribe get their shots. I will continue to work with my colleagues and President Biden to ensure equitable distribution of these life-saving vaccines.”
Eastside Fire & Rescue’s specially-trained EMTs are administering the vaccines at the Tribe’s Vaccination Clinic. The Tribe has worked with Eastside Fire & Rescue since 2015, when the Tribe contracted Eastside to provide fire and EMS services on the Snoqualmie Reservation.
“It is an honor to be able to partner with the Tribe to vaccinate our community members. The entire experience from conception to operating our first clinic has been exhilarating,” said Glenn Huffman, Battalion Chief for Eastside Fire & Rescue. “We look forward to continuing these clinics with the Tribe and doing our collective parts to bringing this pandemic under control.”
To date, the Tribe’s Vaccination Clinic has vaccinated 650 individuals. The Tribe plans to continue holding Vaccination Clinic events into the future, dependent on vaccine availability. The Vaccination Clinic is staffed with Tribal Government and Casino employees, as well as volunteers. Through an agreement with the Tribe, UW faculty and students from the UW School of Nursing worked at the Vaccine Clinic’s opening day, helping with patient in-take and vaccination screening.
“The UW School of Nursing has a strong commitment to serving Tribal communities throughout our state. We are honored that nursing faculty and students were invited to participate in the vaccination clinic for the Snoqualmie tribe. Because of this clinic, 810 Tribal community members are now safer from the threat of COVID-19,” said Azita Emami, Executive Dean of the UW School of Nursing.
“We are proud to work with Eastside Fire & Rescue, the University of Washington, and other partners to make sure we are able to take care of our community,” said Tribal Council Member and Deputy Secretary Christopher Castleberry. “We are pulling together to save lives.”
The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie were signatories to the Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855, and hold reserved Treaty rights under the Treaty. Tribal enterprises provide over 1,700 jobs in the Snoqualmie Valley, and the Snoqualmie Tribe has donated more than $10 million to nonprofit organizations in Washington State since 2010.