James Rideout

Tribal Council Member

As a first-term Councilmember, Jim strives to base his council seat on dedication, perseverance and to remember the sacrifices of the past. He optimizes this ideology with patience and diplomacy.

Born in Tacoma and raised on the banks of the Puyallup River, Jim is proud to be called a fisherman and to be the descendant from a linage of tribal fisherman.

Through his early adult years he was active with the physical construction of the Tribe’s buildings and infrastructure while continuing to be a part of the tribe’s fishing industry. Through hard work and dedication he established financial security through tribal fishing and seafood harvesting programs, for which he is eternally grateful. Jim is committed to keep these programs intact for future generations.

The fishing and seafood industries have given Jim stability and insight, the skills needed to maintain a business, and most importantly the knowledge he needs to be a proponent and advocate of our treaty trust responsibilities. These elements are core to who we are as a sovereign nation.

Jim’s tribal council seat has also given him the diplomatic capacity to right a terrible wrong. After the death of his niece and due to the rise of minority deaths in police-involved shootings, Jim made law enforcement accountability one of his signature policy issues, with the sincere hope that no other family should experience this kind of tragedy. In 2016, he assembled Justice for Jackie, a family, community and Tribal effort which carried and helped establish Initiative 940 (I-940), which sought judicial change in Washington State. Simply stated there wasn’t any law that held law enforcement officers and or officials accountable for any shootings or deaths by Washington State law enforcement officers.

In 2018, with rigorous planning, commitment, dedication and a vast array of help and support, I-940 was passed into law, now known as Violence De-Escalation and Mental Health Training for all Washington State Law Enforcement personnel.

In two years, Jim was able to prioritize, organize and pass a state law, which can be an insurmountable task. This law passage is a testament to Jim’s willingness to learn, retain knowledge and be a proponent for the betterment of our Tribe and our community. This law is now the model for other states that are deficient in ways and means to hold law enforcement officers accountable.

Jim is truly humbled to be a Councilmember, and has proven to be an advocate and positive role model for the Tribe, and to Indian country.

To contact Jim, feel free to call or text him at (253) 221-3742, or to email him at james.rideout@puyalluptribe-nsn.gov.