Tulalip tribal leaders hoped their nomination of the site of an ancient American Indian village on Camano Island for the National Register of Historic Places would protect it from a state development plan, but officials rejected the nomination last week.
“The general consensus was that the site is eligible, but they just weren’t pleased with the level of documentation,” said Michael Houser, an architectural historian for Washington state. “They sent it back … for revisions. That’s pretty common.”
Houser organized the meeting, held on Friday in Snohomish, in which a state review board considered recent nominations for the national register. Once approved by the state board, the nominations are forwarded to a national board for final approval before being added to the nation’s list of historic treasures.
The Tulalip Tribes have long held that Cama Beach, on the western edge of Camano Island, was the site of an Indian village. When work crews began construction for a state park about six years ago, they found human remains that Tulalip leaders say belonged to their ancestors.
The tribal leaders fought to stop the state’s plans, but failed in a series of court decisions. Late last year, they nominated the site for the National Register of Historic Places with hope that it would be protected from further development.
It’s back in the tribes’ hands, Houser said. If they revise the nomination, it may be considered again by the state board in July.
Reporter Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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