Tribal Government Inclement Weather Guidelines

Purpose Employee safety is a priority for the Suquamish Tribe. Work closures, delays and early dismissals due to weather, road conditions and power outages are always a possibility during periods of inclement weather. These guidelines outline when closures and or delays will be implemented and outline how the Tribe will notify employees and the community when this occurs.

Click here to download this guide as a PDF.

Inclement Weather Planning – Emergency Management staff will monitor National Weather Service advisories for possible changes in conditions and weather-related events. When inclement weather is forecast, the following factors will be considered to determine if the predicted impacts to Tribal Government Operations will warrant the need for closures, delays, or early dismissals:

  • Type of weather event;
  • Strength of wind;
  • Temperatures;
  • Amount of rain or snowfall, and
  • Potential for power outages.

Emergency Management with Executive Director (s) will review the North Kitsap School District delay/closure determination with the on-duty Public Safety Officer(s) recommendation of Port Madison Indian Reservation roadway conditions to determine safe government opening or delay/closures during Inclement Weather Incidents.

Operational Decision & NotificationUpon determining the need to modify schedules or close Tribal offices and services, all efforts will be made to notify employees. Examples of communication mediums include: A Weather Information Line that will include an outgoing message modified to reflect the closure or delay, the Suquamish Tribe website, and other electronic platforms endorsed by the Tribe for conveying such information. Department Directors will be expected to notify their team members.

In the event of weather-related closures, delays, or early dismissals, notifications will be initiated by 5:45 am when possible using the following mediums:

  • Website – When posted, government office closures and delay information may be found via an alert on the Tribe’s website at
  • Email –An “All Staff” message may also be sent via the Tribe’s email system. If your email is not listed with the Suquamish Tribe, notify the Human Resources Department to have it added.
  • Text Alerts – Sign up for test alerts at the link NOTE: All government employees should sign up for the SUN as it is the most reliable way to reach you in the event of any emergency.
  • Weather Information Line –When activated, call (360) 394-8670 for the latest information on Tribal Government closures and delays.
  • Media –Inclement weather notifications will be posted on the Suquamish Tribe’s Facebook page. For government office and school closures, Radio stations such as KITZ 1400 AM, KIRO 710 AM, KRPM 1090, KOMO 1000 AM, KPLU 88.5, KUOW 94.5, KJR 95.7, and KLSY 92.5 and local television stations KOMO TV 4, KING TV 5, KIRO TV 7, and KCPQ TV 13 will be announcing schedule changes after 6 am. Schools will be operating on normal schedules when no announcement has been made.

Employees should not call individual office or school phones since staff will not likely be available to answer. The above communication modes will be the most reliable means to obtain the status of government offices, schools, and Tribal services.

Types of Closures or Delays

When Trial government offices are open and operating as they normally would, no announcement will be made and employees are expected to report to work at their normally scheduled time.

  • Office ClosureIf Tribal Government Offices close due to inclement weather, employees capable of working remotely are required to do so. Upon reopening, all employees are expected to return to work. If an employee needs time off to tend to repairs or damage beyond the norm, normal leave of absence policies will apply. In these cases, employees should stay in close communication with their supervisor to ensure the time off is properly accounted for. Some departments or services are considered essential, and are not subject to office closure guidelines i.e., Public Safety and Tribal Gaming. Check with your Department Director, or Supervisor to determine if your position is required to report to work during inclement weather conditions.
  • School Closure– If Chief Kitsap Academy or the Marion Forsman-Boushie Early Learning Center is closed due to inclement weather, all school transportation, meetings, field trips, after-school activities, practices will be canceled for the day unless otherwise specifically announced. All evening meetings/functions scheduled to take place in facilities will also be canceled.
  • Two-Hour Delay– If there is a two-hour delayed start, employees are expected to report to their work shift accordingly.

If employed by Chief Kitsap Academy, or Early Learning Center, the following schedule changes may apply:

  • In the case of a two-hour delay, the ELC will open at 9:30am, and all ELC staff will work 9:30am to 5pm.
  • Transportation will run 2 hours late
  • No breakfast programs (ELC Children will be fed upon arrival, regardless of start time)
  • No out-of-reservation boundaries transportation
  • No before school activities

In extreme conditions, the Chief Kitsap Academy or Marion Forsman-Boushie Early Learning Center may be closed after the Tribal government has announced a two-hour delay due to further deterioration of the weather or students may be released early. Parents should have a back-up plan if this happens. Release and transportation impacts including modified snow routes, or alternate bus stop impacts will be communicated to parents by CKA or ELC.

When snow routes are activated, official notification will be sent out with a link to Snow Routes. Snow Routes are posted by November 1st each year on the Snow Routes (insert link) page of the Transportation Department website. Transportation Services will send out a phone alert when only a few bus stops have been changed.

You may reach Transportation Services at (360) 394-8578 for ELC services beginning November 2021, The ELC is not providing bus transportation OR for CKA Services (360) 394-8566 for questions regarding alternate bus stops or delays in service.

  • Early ReleaseShould inclement weather occur during the workday; Tribal leadership will make the determination regarding what time the government will close. The Tribe may use discretion when determining closure leave eligibility.

Map of CKA Snow Route Stops

Seeking Tribal Members to Serve on Suquamish Boards and Commissions

The Suquamish Tribal Council is seeking applications from Tribal members for appointment to Executive Boards and Commissions positions that expire on December 31, 2021.

Appointments are for three-year terms. Board members are paid stipends as allowed by charter or ordinance.

Normally, Tribal members would have had an opportunity to sign up to serve on boards and commissions during the General Council meeting in March. As a result of the drive-thru General Council meeting, and the ongoing pandemic, the applications process has shifted online.

To apply for an appointment or re-appointment to any of the following boards and commissions, please complete the form below.

In addition to the form, you may submit letters of interest to Rebecca Purser, Tribal Council Executive Assistant, by mail at PO Box 498, Suquamish WA 98392, or by email to The online form plus any supporting material must be submitted by the end of business on December 6, 2021.

If you currently hold one of these positions and would like to apply for another term, please complete the same process.

All Tribal members who submit an application will automatically be submitted for consideration. Decisions will be made by the end of December 2021 and announced at the last scheduled Tribal Council meeting of 2021.


2021 Application for positions on Boards and Commissions

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    Please note: Current openings on the Suquamish Museum Board are for PME appointee and Tribal Council liaison position only.

Eligibility for All Native American Tribal Members 18 years and above

The American Indian Health Commission received confirmation that any member of a tribal or urban Indian community is eligible for COVID 19 Vaccine boosters.

Per Washington DOH’s news release Oct. 22, booster doses are now available for Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen.

AIHC asked the question for clarification of Who Is Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot. AIHC asked for clarification to CDC’s guidance on booster eligibility criteria located in People with Certain Medical Conditions | CDC guidance which states any member of a Tribe or Urban Indian community would be eligible for COVID 19 Vaccine Boosters.

CDC responded they are in agreement that based on this criteria any member of a tribal or urban Indian community would be eligible for boosters.

Click here for more information.

Vaccine Update: Booster Shots

You may have heard that a third (3) vaccine dose against COVID-19 is now available for those who are fully vaccinated. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Anyone with a compromised immune system from cancer drugs, organ transplants, and so on can get a booster now. Check with your health care provider.
  • For everyone else who received their second (2) dose of vaccinations at least 8 months ago, booster will be available beginning September 20. Since the Suquamish Tribe was very early in getting our community and employees vaccinated, that means many of us will be eligible. We will send out additional information about where you can receive the third (3) dose once that information becomes available in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, a top priority is to make sure everyone in our community has received the regular vaccinations. This is especially urgent at this time when cases are at the highest rate ever within the Tribal community, and local emergency room facilities are reaching capacity. Please, if you haven’t already, make sure everyone in your family 12 and above is vaccinated. Doing this will help us get back to school and daily activities safely.

Information on the third (3) vaccine dose is attached and for additional information please contact Suquamish Tribe Community Health or your primary health care provider.

Thank you,

Cherrie May, Manager

Office of Emergency Management



The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has modified the emergency use authorizations for the Pfizer and the Moderna Covid-19 vaccines to allow people with compromised immune systems to get a third (3) dose.  Public Health Officers are saying it is increasingly clear that many immunocompromised patients are still vulnerable to Covid-19 following vaccination because they may not get an effective immune response to the first 2 vaccinations.

According to the CDC, the list includes people who have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

It is highly recommended that you talk to their healthcare provider about your medical condition, and whether getting a third (3) dose is appropriate for you.

Why should immunocompromised people get a third (3) dose?

It’s harder for vaccines to rev up an immune system suppressed by certain medications and diseases, so those patients don’t always get the same protection as otherwise healthy people — and small studies suggest for at least some, an extra dose may be the solution.

When can eligible people get their third dose?

The FDA determined that transplant recipients and others with a similar level of compromised immunity can receive a third dose of the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna at least 28 days after getting their second shot.

Are there any risks with getting a third dose? What about side effects?

The CDC reports there is “limited information about the risks of receiving an additional dose of vaccine, and the safety, efficacy, and benefit of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised people continues to be evaluated.”

CDC has noted that side effects with the third vaccination “were similar to that of the two-dose series.”

The most common symptoms include fatigue and pain at the injection site, but “most symptoms were mild to moderate.”

As with previous doses of the vaccine, the CDC notes that, “serious side effects are rare, but may occur.”

Can you mix and match the vaccines?

For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

When will COVID-19 third (3) dose be available for general public for those who have already received two (2) doses of a mRNA vaccine?

For people who have already received 2 doses of their mRNA vaccine you may receive a third (3) dose if you are 8 months out from your second (2) dose of mRNA beginning September 20, 2021.


Suquamish Night at Mariners Game to Recognize 1921 Suquamish Team’s Tour of Japan

Free Tickets Available for Tribal Members

100 years ago this month, a baseball team from the Suquamish Tribe traveled to Japan on a months-long tour of the nation playing Japanese teams in cities and towns throughout the country as goodwill ambassadors of the game. To celebrate the centennial anniversary of their overseas adventure, the Seattle Mariners will recognize the team and their enduring legacy at the Aug. 26 game against the Kansas City Royals at T-Mobile Stadium.

A representative of the Suquamish Tribe will throw out the first pitch. The gates open 5:10 pm and the game starts at 7:10 pm.

The Suquamish Tribe will provide two free tickets to every Suquamish Tribal member 16 years old and above who would like to attend the game (while supplies last.) If you would like to go, please send an email to no later than Aug. 19.

Please include your full name and Suquamish Tribal ID number in your email when requesting tickets.

Tickets will be available for pick up on Aug. 23 at the Fitness Center.

Elders who would like to attend the game but need assistance with transportation should contact Della Crowell by Aug. 6 at (360) 394-8417. Please note: In order to reach your seat in the stadium there is a lot of walking and plenty of stairs. The stairs are steep and there are often no rails to hold on to. Also, masks will be required while in Elders transportation.

Everyone attending the game should also know there is no longer special seating for vaccinated people at Mariners games. The Suquamish Tribe encourages everyone, who is able to, to get vaccinated. Please weigh the risks to yourself and others when considering attending events in crowded spaces.

Phase II “Complete” Burn Ban Now in Effect until Further Notice

Due to extreme fire danger, the Suquamish Tribal Council in coordination with the Kitsap Fire Marshal and local fire departments has imposed a Phase II – Complete Ban on all outdoor burning, effective July 10, 2021 until further notice.
Under the Phase II – Complete Burn Ban, all outdoor burning is prohibited, including small recreational fires, cooking fires, and the use of charcoal briquettes. Only natural or propane gas barbeques are allowed and should only be used on hard non-combustible surfaces.
Fire departments are experiencing unseasonable increases in wildland fire responses throughout the Western part of the State. Higher than normal temperatures and extended dry conditions are likely to continue. Lower than normal rain rainfall will worsen fire risk in a landscape that’s already dry. Outdoor fires are the leading cause of wildland fires, sparking nearly 85% of all vegetation blazes.
For further information regarding the burn ban please contact Eric Quitslund, Suquamish Tribe’s Office of Emergency Management Operations officer at

Upcoming events at the Family and Friends Center

There are some exciting events going on at the ʔiišədalʔtxʷ ʔə ti suq̓ʷabš (Suquamish Family and Friends Center) over the next few weeks.

Here’s a quick round-up: 

  • Father’s Day Keychain Class – This online class continues on Tuesday, June 8 AND 15 at 6:30pm.  Kits are still available for distribution. Call or email to request a kit. (Details for the online class are in the kits.)
  • Tween Self Care Kit Distribution —  This is for youth ages 10-12, on Wednesday, June 9, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Call or email to sign up for a kit.
  • Port Madison Eats: PMEats Facebook Live BIG FOOT’S HOMEMADE PIE cooking demonstration on Thursday, June 10, at 4pm.  Kit distribution is Wednesday, June 9, from 11am to 1pm. Call or email to sign up for a kit. Post a picture of your HOMEMADE PIE on our Facebook page with the hashtag #PMEats by Thursday, June 17, to be entered into a prize drawing.
  • Family and Friends Center Survey–The ʔiišədalʔtxʷ ʔə ti suq̓ʷabš (Suquamish Family and Friends Center) Needs and Facility Assessment Survey is still open for your input. This survey is intended for Tribal Members and Tribal Member Households to provide their valuable feedback. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey to help us gain a better understanding of what activities and programs are of interest to you. This helps us plan seasonal activities that YOU want to do. By completing this survey you will also help to identify ways in which we might improve and expand our facility to better meet the needs of the youth in the community. Your opinion is valued by our department, so please be honest and share with us what you think.  CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY Thank you!

Please call (360) 394-8576 or email to request a kit or to get clarification on Family and Friend Center activities.

Suquamish Tribe Chairman and ATNI President Leonard Forsman interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House advisor and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joins Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe and President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, for an online discussion during ATNI’s annual spring gathering on May 24, 2021.


S’Klallam Tribe and Suquamish Tribe Host Youth Vaccination Clinic on May 17 and May 26

All Tribal youth or any youth living in North Kitsap aged 12 to 17  now eligible to receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

UPDATE: The vaccination clinic for youth will be repeated on May 26. Make an appointment at

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and the Suquamish Tribe are partnering to host a COVID-19 Youth Vaccination Clinic on Monday, May 17 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Elders Center on the PGST government campus.

Tribal youth or any youth living in North Kitsap aged 12 – 17 are invited to get vaccinated at the clinic. An appointment is required and can be scheduled online at Vaccinations are provided free of charge.

There are 300 appointments available at this clinic. Participants will receive their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. A second follow-up shot will be provided three weeks later. All participants will be expected to return to the same location for their second dose on June 7.

Parental consent is required for anyone under the age of 18. Parents or legal guardians can accompany their child to the appointment or provide a signed consent form along with a phone number should they need to be reached. Consent forms are available for download after setting up an appointment.

The Pfizer vaccine was recently approved by the FDA, CDC, and Washington State Health Department for youth as young as 12 years old.

The two Kitsap County tribes have worked hard to vaccinate adult members of their communities, as well as local teachers, school district staff, and other neighbors. Now, they are coordinating to ensure area youth can get vaccinated as quickly as possible.

“We’ve understood from the beginning that the best way to protect our Tribe from COVID-19 is to ensure as many people as possible get vaccinated, especially those in our Tribal community, their close contacts, and our staff, neighbors, and friends,” said Jolene Sullivan, PGST’s Health Director, who has been on the front lines coordinating the Tribe’s response to the pandemic. “Being able to administer vaccines to young people is an exciting next step in helping us move forward towards a pandemic-free life and we’re happy to be able to play a role in that.”

“This clinic is a major step towards safeguarding our families, schools, and the whole community,” said Cherrie May, Suquamish Tribe’s Emergency Operations Center manager. “We’re excited that youth throughout North Kitsap will be joining adults in getting vaccinated, and we’re looking forward to when we can fully reopen schools, gather for cultural activities, and travel in safety.”

While, generally, younger people haven’t experienced the worst symptoms of COVID-19, experts agree that vaccinating this group protects everyone. This includes limiting the potential for asymptomatic spread and variants that may be resistant to current vaccines. In addition, while teens and young adults are less likely to die from COVID-19, long-term symptoms can be serious and significantly impact quality of life.

During clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer was 100% effective at preventing infection among those aged 12 – 15.

Appointments for the May 17 Youth Vaccination Clinic are being accepted now at After check-in and vaccination, each participant will be asked to remain on site for 15 minutes for observation to ensure no adverse side effects. The Port Gamble S’Klallam government campus is located at 31912 Little Boston Rd. NE in Kingston.

This vaccination clinic follows an earlier series of vaccination clinics in which both tribes administered Moderna vaccinations to North Kitsap School District teachers and staff.


The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, originally known as the Nux Sklai Yem or Strong People, are descendants of the Salish people who have been well-established in the Puget Sound basin and surrounding areas since 2400 B.C.  In the late 1930s, the Port Gamble S’Klallam reservation, located on the northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, was established. Many of the Tribe’s members, who total about twelve hundred, still live there today.

For more information about the S’Klallam Tribe, please visit

About SUQUAMISH TRIBE The Suquamish Tribe is a federally recognized sovereign tribe located on the Port Madison Indian Reservation along the Puget Sound west of Seattle, Washington. D’suq’wub, meaning “place of the clear saltwater”, has been home to the Suquamish people since time immemorial. It is the ancient place on Agate Passage, the site of Old-Man-House village, the winter home of Chief Seattle and the heart of the Suquamish People. It is here, past, present, and future, that the Suquamish People live on the land of their ancestors and of their great-grandchildren.

Gambling Commission and the Suquamish Tribe reach tentative agreement on a sports wagering compact amendment

(The following was released on May 3, 2021 by the Washington State Gambling Commission.)

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Gambling Commission has reached a tentative agreement with the Suquamish Tribe to amend its Class III gaming compact to add sports wagering. The Tribe operates its Class III gaming facility located on the Kitsap Peninsula on the Port Madison Indian Reservation. (Full Amendment here).

This is the second sports wagering tentative agreement in the state and this amendment establishes the framework for sports wagering at the Tribe’s Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort.

“I am grateful for the thoughtful and cooperative approach taken by the Tribe and State in reaching this tentative agreement and this compact amendment continues to recognize the Tribe’s sovereignty and successful operation and regulation of gaming,” said Washington State Gambling Commission Chair Bud Sizemore. “This agreement ensures sports wagering will be conducted with the highest integrity while protecting the public by keeping gambling legal and honest. Completion of these negotiations allows us to focus more on the black market in our state.”

“We are pleased with the progress of the compact amendment and the partnership it represents with the Governor, Legislature, Gambling Commission and citizens of Washington,” said Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe.

“Revenue from sports wagering will help support the Suquamish Tribe’s important governmental services offered to both tribal members and the non-tribal community. This compact means guests at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort will enjoy additional exciting activities while ensuring that sports wagering revenues remain in Washington.”

This amendment allows the Tribe and State the ability to effectively address the Legislature’s primary sports wagering policy concerns now codified in the Gambling Act: licensing, agency funding, regulation, criminal enforcement, money laundering, sport integrity, and responsible and problem gambling.

The Gambling Commission anticipates it will have draft rules to its Commissioners for their review at the agency’s June 10, 2021 public meeting. Details for this meeting can be found on the agency’s website.

For questions for the Suquamish Tribe please contact: Rion Ramirez at

Public comments regarding this compact amendment may be submitted to:

This tentative agreement must now go through a state and federal approval process. The next steps in this process are:

  1. Legislative Hearings will be held in the Senate Labor, Commerce, and Tribal Affairs and House Commerce and Gaming Committees.
  2. The Gambling Commission will view and vote on this compact amendment at June 10, 2021 public hearing. If approved by the agency’s Commissioners, the proposed compact amendment will be forwarded to the Tribal Chair and then the Governor for signature.
  3. Once signed by both the Tribal Chair and the Governor, the Tribe will send the amendment to the Secretary of the United States Department of Interior for consideration and publication in the Federal Register.
  4. The compact amendment is not final, and sports wagering cannot begin, until it is published in the Federal Register.

Washington State was the first state in 2020 to enact a new sports wagering law. The Gambling Act (RCW 9.46) contains all sports wagering state laws, including additional money laundering and sport integrity provisions to protect gambling and sporting events occurring in the state and around the country.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 provides that Indian tribes may conduct Class III gaming activities on Indian lands when the gaming is conducted in conformance with a tribal-state compact. RCW 9.46.360 provides that the Gambling Commission negotiate those compacts on behalf of the state. The Suquamish Tribe’s tribal-state compact for Class III gaming was originally signed in January 1995, and this is the fourth amendment.

Brian J. Considine
Legal and Legislative Manager
Washington State Gambling Commission
(360) 485-8921 (mobile)