Tulalip's Native Language
Lushootseed is a member of the Salish language family, whose approximately twenty surviving languages are spoken from northern Oregon to central British Columbia, and from the Pacific coast eastward into Montana and along the British Columbia-Alberta border.
The Lushootseed-speaking region extends along the shores of Puget Sound from modern-day Olympia to the Skagit watershed and from Hood Canal to the Cascades. The term “Northern “ refers to the language as spoken by the Skagit, Swinomish, Sauk-Suiattle, Stillaguamish and neighboring peoples; “Southern Lushootseed,” is that spoken by the peoples of Snoqualmie, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, Nisqually, Squaxin Island, Suquamish and their neighbors. The Snohomish Lushootseed spoken at Tulalip exhibits features of both Northern and Southern language, though it is usually categorized as “Northern.”
The Tulalip Tribes Lushootseed Department is dedicated to increasing awareness of Lushootseed within the community and beyond, as well as to restoring the language to everyday use within the community.