Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board: Indian Leadership for Indian Health

Squaxin Island Tribe

Squaxin Island Tribe
Squaxin Island Tribal Clinic
90 SE Klah-Che-Min Drive
Shelton WA 98584
Phone: 360-426-9781
Fax: 360-427-1951

About the Clinic

Facilities/Services Planning

To promote and facilitate engineering planning and construction support for the IHS national facilities program by developing and enhancing relationships among Tribes, area offices, and Service Unit engineers and related professionals dealing in building health care systems.

Attainment of the IHS and DHHS missions
The DFPC mission is achieved by:

* Maintaining a priority list based on relative need.
* Supporting tribes when they choose to assume facilities-related responsibilities.
* Planning health care and associated facilities to minimize facility life-cycle costs.
* Planning, promoting, & constructing improvements to exist. Facilities where they are not optimally functional.
* Planning & constructing new facilities when existing facilities do not exist or cannot be effectively improved.
* Developing state-of-the-art facilities with efficient and effective facilities planning.
* Targeting the unmet need with limited resources for maximum effectiveness.

DFPC Vision

To be a Global Health Care Facilities Engineering Division leading cutting edge professionalism in support of Public Health advances and development of solutions to the Indian Health Service challenges.


The Tribe operates a health clinic with a physician’s assistant who provides primary care services, located at 90 SE Clahchemin Drive, in Shelton Washington. The Clinic had 1,533 primary care patient visits and 361 other patient visits for a total of 1,894 patient visits in FY 1996. The Tribe bills Medicare, Medicaid and other third party payers. The Tribe’s Contract Health Service Delivery Area (CHSDA) is Mason County.


Services are provided in a tribally owned building with 6,720 SF under an IHS funded P.L. 93-638, Title III self-governance compact. The Tribe also operates an alcohol and substance abuse program in an inpatient treatment facility with 8,979 SF located in Elma. Additional programs include community health representative, public health services, health education, nutrition, optometry, dental, emergency medical services, alcoholism treatment, community nursing, home health care, and traditional medicine. The Tribe employs one dentist and two mid-level practitioners who are RN’s, NP’s or PHN’s.


The enrolled tribal population is 650 and the Indian population living on or near the Reservation is 1,539. The active health clinic user population is 770. The leading causes of death are heart disease, malignant neoplasm, cirrhosis of the liver, accidents other than motor vehicle, and cerebrovascular disease. There were 673 Active users in 2002.

About the Tribe


The Squaxin Island Tribal culture and traditions included a natural abundance of fish, wild fruits and berries, and the forest. They were known for elaborate baskets and wood carvings. Salmon and other foods from the rivers and waterways were the mainstay of their diet and central to their ceremonies. The western red cedar was also important. The cedar tree was steamed and bent into boxes, baskets, serving dishes, and eating utensils. Clothing, mats, furnishings, and rope were made from the bark. Leadership was determined by the amount of wealth acquired. Their social structure included a hereditary nobility, middle-class and a slave class. A social and cultural ceremony, the “potlatch” was practiced traditionally. They are closely linked to the Nisqually people through similar traditions, family ties and traditional language. The Squaxin tribe participated in a treaty council with the US government in 1854 along with other southern Puget Sound tribes. These negotiations ended in the cession of large territories from the tribe to the government in the Treaty of Medicine Creek. The Tribe operates under a constitution which was approved on July 8, 1965. The governing body is the Squaxin Island Tribal Council consisting of five persons elected to three-year terms by the general council. The Squaxin Island Reservation occupies most of a small island north of Olympia.


The reservation occupies most of a small island directly north of Olympia. City: Shelton, population 7,530, elevation 12. County: Mason, population 36,000, Native American 1,247, 44% of nonwhite, 3% of total population. 962 square milesCounty’s assessed value averages $2,290 an acre. Principal industries: wood products, food products, manufacturing, agriculture.
Rainfall: 64.2 inches, temperatures, 41-61.

Other Information



Other Offices and Programs

Government Operations, Natural Resources, Enterprises, Grocery store, and Oyster Company.
Average of 55 employees year round, this includes some seasonal.


No information on tribal housing available.

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