Grand Opening of “First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People”

Photo of Puyallup People dance

The Puyallup Canoe Family members drum and dance during the grand opening ceremony.

Photo of Foss Waterway Seaport and water

The Foss Waterway Seaport.

The Foss Waterway Seaport opened an exhibit about the Puyallup People — “The First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People” on Feb. 15. The grand opening featured a traditional Puyallup tribal blessing and song and dance.

Many Puyallup Tribal members spoke, saying that this exhibit is the first that tells the story of the Puyallup People on their terms, in their way. “Our story has not been told by our people in this manner,” says Connie McCloud, Puyallup Tribal Culture Director. “We’ve been here since the beginning of time.”

The exhibit tells the story of the Puyallup People and their connection to the waterways. Learn from artifacts, hands-on activities,  multi-media displays and more.

Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey

In summer 2018, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians will host the 2018 Canoe Journey — exciting! At the grand opening of the “Puyallup People” exhibit, Puyallup tribal members talked about hosting the Canoe Journey. Tribes from all over the Pacific Northwest will paddle along the shores of the Salish Sea to make their way to Puyallup. Thousands are expected to make this spiritual journey. The museum’s exhibit includes a section about Canoe Journeys. Tribal members also carved paddles during the grand opening ceremony. The Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey is planned to be open to the public.

Learn more about the Puyallup People and the Canoe Journey at the museum!


To experience some of the grand opening, please take a look at this short video of the Puyallup Tribe’s Canoe Family members drumming and dancing in the opening song:


These pictures show some of the people who worked on this important exhibit and spoke at the grand opening:

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If you couldn’t attend the grand opening, you can still see the “First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People” exhibit! It’s now part of the Seaport’s permanent displays.

For more information about the “Puyallup People”exhibit and Puyallup Canoe Journey

  • Foss Waterway Seaport’s website about the exhibit.
  • Puyallup Tribe of Indian’s website about the Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey.
  • Tacoma Weekly’s article “First on the Waterway” about the exhibit.
  • Video of Puyallup Culture Director Connie McCloud giving the blessing at the grand opening.
  • Attend the Tacoma Waterfront Association’s meeting on March 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Tacoma Youth Marine Center. Puyallup Tribal Councilmember James Rideout will discuss the Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey and related topics. Free!

— Liz Satterthwaite, Engage Northwest.

** Disclaimer: Engage Northwest provides communications support for the Tacoma Waterfront Association. **

Serving on Metro Parks steering committee for the Dickman Mill Park project

Liz Satterthwaite with Engage Northwest serves on Metro Parks Tacoma‘s steering committee for the Dickman Mill Park Expansion and Head Saw project. The huge saw that worked in the old Dickman Mill would be included in an expanded Dickman Mill Park along Ruston Way. The project combines history, environment, recreation, art and more.

Project Background

Photo of Dickman Mill Park

The beach area in Dickman Mill Park along Ruston Way.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary in Tacoma, Cambia Health Solutions generously gave a $2.9 million gift to fund the restoration of the historic Dickman Mill head saw and expand the park. Metro Parks will restore this historic head saw — the last known to operate in Washington — and publicly display it in Dickman Mill Park along Ruston Way in Tacoma. The expanded park would include a plaza area to view the head saw.  The project is expected to take about two to three years to complete.

The Dickman Lumber Mill operated on the Tacoma waterfront along Ruston Way for approximately 80 years. One of many lumber mills along the waterfront, the mill closed in 1974 and burned in a fire in 1979. Now the site is a park that includes a beach, wetlands, pilings, concrete foundations, and a sign describing the history of the mill.

Photo of Dickman Mill Steering Committee Meeting

The Steering Committee provides input on the locations for the head saw at Dickman Mill Park.

Steering Committee and community involvement

In its first meeting in January 2018, the steering committee reviewed and commented on three alternative locations for the head saw within Dickman Mill Park. Previously, the design team had evaluated these alternatives based on criteria such as historic integrity, visitor experience, safety, permitting and mitigation, cost and others.  The steering committee also provided feedback based on these criteria. In future meetings, the committee will review and comment on more detailed designs and other considerations. The community will also be invited to review and comment on the project in open house meetings.

Liz represents the Tacoma Waterfront Association on this steering committee.

More information about the Dickman Mill Park project: 

Tacoma waterfront calendars

Do you enjoy the views of ships, bridges, wildlife, lighthouses, ports and mountains? Consider getting a 2018 Tacoma Waterfront calendar! Liz Satterthwaite of Engage Northwest took these pictures to showcase the beauty of our region. Coasters and other promotional items are available and can be customized for you.

If you’d like to find out more about the calendars or Liz’s photography and communications, please contact Liz at or 253.208.0586. Thank you for supporting this small business and happy holidays!

**Update** — You can find the Tacoma Waterfront calendars at Point Defiance Marina, Foss Harbor Marina and Foss Waterway Seaport. Point Defiance Marina also carries some of the coasters. Thank you to these wonderful partners!

Vote in this election!

Voting is one of the best ways citizens can engage! There are many important local races for port, city, schools, fire, parks and more! Make sure your voice and vote count! Return your ballot by 8:00 p.m. today!

Washington State is vote-by-mail, so you can return your ballot by mail (make sure it’s postmarked by Nov. 7) or in a drop box or voting center. In Pierce County, find drop box  locations, voting centers and more information on the Pierce County Auditor’s webpage for Elections. Thank you!

November 2016 General Election

Last year, Engage Northwest managed social media for the Pierce County Auditor’s Office during the November 2016 General Election. For that Presidential election, social media helped encourage a record number of voters in Pierce County! Here are a few graphics and social posts from the Nov. 2016 Election Day:


Photo of last voter in line

Live-tweeting on Election night.

Thank you again for making a difference in our community.