Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge Honors Puyallup Tribal History, Set to Reopen September 2019

Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge Honors Puyallup Tribal History, Set to Reopen September 2019


Construction continues on the Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge, previously known as the Puyallup River Bridge. The Puyallup Tribe and the City of Tacoma celebrated the renaming on August 9, 2019.

The Fishing Wars Memorial Bridge is also known as yabuk’wali, meaning “place of a fight,” in Twulshootseed.

Local and statewide elected officials attended, including City of Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, WA State Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA-10), and Puyallup Tribe Chairman and Councilmembers.

The renaming of the Bridge is an important step toward continuing government to government relations between the Puyallup Tribe and the City of Tacoma. Puyallup Chairman David Z. Bean recognized the significance of this renaming, saying, “As we move forward together, we have work to do as we grow our communities and move our communities forward.”

Puyallup Tribal Elders, including Ramona Bennett, Roberta Basch and Nancy Shippentower, told stories of the fishing wars, recognizing the harsh treatment they faced at the hands of local law enforcement. Vice Chairman Bill Sterud recalled what it was like being a child in the 1960s, during a time of tension between the Tribe and governmental officials. Keeping this history in mind, Chairman Bean expressed a desire to move toward a better future, saying, “We recognize that we are only in control of today forward.”

Many Puyallup Tribal members and Water Warriors of all ages also participated in the renaming ceremony, using the opportunity to gain awareness for NO LNG.

yabuk’wali will reopen to traffic in September 2019.

Chairman Bean and Mayor Woodards
Congressman Denny Heck
Culture Director Connie McCloud
Elder Nancy Shippentower
Elder Ramona Bennet