tribe pasco

Dignitaries from the Colville Confederated Tribes and City of Pasco gather for the Nov. 20 signing ceremony.

PASCO — The Colville Confederated Tribes and City of Pasco have signed an agreement in principle.

Colville Business Council Chairman Rodney Cawston and Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins signed the document Nov. 20 during a ceremony in Pasco.

“The Colville tribes and the City of Pasco will be working closely together under the framework of this landmark agreement,” Cawston said. “This marks the beginning of what we know will be a long and successful partnership between us for the benefit of all our citizens.”

“This agreement formalizes a commitment between the City of Pasco and the Colville tribes to further explore those things we have long had in common and what we might share in the future,” said Watkins.

The tribe recently purchased property in Pasco as part of its efforts to recognize the area as the homeland of the Palus, one of the 12 tribes in the Colville confederation, and to increase awareness of the tribe’s history and culture in the region.

“Signing this agreement is an important first step in a series of collaborative efforts and future agreements between our respective governments,” Cawston said. “The Colville tribes will work closely with the City of Pasco and other officials in this area to realize important cultural, educational and economic development goals for our Palus people and the Colville confederation as a whole.”

“The Pacific Northwest has a rich and interesting history that Pasco joined relatively recently at the end of the 19th century - while the Colvilles’ is much longer and deeper,” said Watkins. “As we enter this agreement, we join formally not only in exploring our respective histories and cultures together, but also our mutual future in an increasingly interconnected world.”

Cawston and Watkins said announcements of specific tribal-city joint efforts will be made soon.

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