Puyallup Tribe Impact

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians serves its members and community with generosity and is committed to building a sustainable way of life for future generations.

As one of the most urban tribes in the United States, the Puyallup Tribe is committed to being a good neighbor. It is consistently one of the top 10 employers in Pierce County, it fights to protect the environment, its economic development projects create jobs, and it donates millions of dollars each year to charitable organizations through its Charity Trust Board and through donations made directly by the Puyallup Tribal Council.

Charitable contributions

“It fills our hearts, our spirits, with a lot of love knowing that we can help people in this community.”
–Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller, speaking at the Charity Trust Board awards event in December 2022

Charity Trust Board donations are funded from Emerald Queen Casino revenue as part of an agreement with the state of Washington that includes additional contributions for smoking cessation and problem gambling programs, and for impact costs paid to local governments for things such as fire and police services.

Since 2012, the Puyallup Tribe has donated more than $18 million to hundreds of local organizations through its Charity Trust Board. In 2022 alone, the Tribe donated more than $2 million to over 100 qualified organizations through the board. Organizations must be non-tribal, bona fide nonprofit and charitable organizations in the state of Washington. The Puyallup Tribal Council has donated millions more out of its own budget to help community organizations ranging from Rotary Club to Northwest Trek Foundation.

Qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the state of Washington may apply for funding through the Charity Trust Board. Click here to learn more.

Groups receiving donations recently have included:

  • Diabetes Association of Pierce County
  • Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County
  • Key Peninsula Volunteer Firefighters Association
  • Native American Church Qua-Utz of North America
  • Northwest Harvest
  • Pierce Center for Arts and Technology
  • Riverside Fire and Rescue
  • Seattle Children’s Chorus
  • Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity
  • The Evergreen State College Foundation

Economic development

“We are a Tribe that thinks on a global scale.”
–Puyallup Tribal Council, in announcing the creation of Tahoma Global Logistics, January 2023

Unlike local and state governments, the Puyallup Tribe does not draw on income or property taxes for revenue. Most of its revenue comes from its own government-owned business enterprises such as Emerald Queen Casino. These revenues support the well-being of its Membership. In addition to benefiting the Tribe, businesses such as Emerald Queen Casino and Marine View Ventures create jobs and other benefits to the regional community.

In 2020, the Puyallup Tribal Council made economic diversification and development a priority to ensure the well-being of future generations. The following year an Amazon sorting center opened in Fife and the BetMGM @ EQC sportsbook launched. Partnerships with Kenmore Air and celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi were highlights of 2022.

This year, the Tribe has launched its own international logistics company, Tahoma Global Logistics; acquired candy company Ames International, INC.; entered in a historic host city supporter agreement with Seattle 26 for the upcoming World Cup; broke ground on a new Tribal Administration building, and opened a seaplane terminal on Ruston Way.

The Tribe’s investments support the Puyallup Membership and bring jobs and other economic benefits that support the greater community. Learn more about recent successes by clicking this link.

Environmental protection

“The fish can’t speak for themselves. We have to do it for them. We are fighting for them and for you.”
–Puyallup Tribal Council, in response to a judge issuing a preliminary injunction to stop a dam’s owners from opening an intake until permits are in place.

The Puyallup Tribe has protected lands and waters since time immemorial. In the late 20th century, Tribal Members fought for fishing rights, leading to the historic Boldt Decision in 1974.

In recent years, the Tribe has taken a stance for the environment and people of Pierce County and neighboring areas by standing against Tacoma LNG, Electron Hydro and other threats to the health and well-being of the people and species that call the land and waters home.

On December 10, 2019, surrounded by hundreds of students at Chief Leschi Schools, the Puyallup Tribal Council declared a climate emergency, making the Puyallup Tribe one of the first in the world to do so. The five-page resolution outlined a plan to implement sustainable practices and policies and included points about the Paris Climate Agreement and greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more by clicking this link.

Learn more about the Puyallup Tribal Council’s positions on environmental issues and other topics by clicking this link.

Outreach and education

The Puyallup Tribe works with school districts and other institutions to educate people in the region about the Tribe and to ensure the Tribe’s story is told accurately. In 2022, the Tribe worked to ensure that the Puyallup School District accurately implemented Since Time Immemorial (STI) curriculum.

Learn more about the Tribe’s Heritage Division, museum, Language program.