Saved By Salmon – Northwest Treaty Tribes

Suquamish Welcomes New CEO to Port Madison Enterprises

Longtime hospitality executive Sam Askew returns to Port Madison Enterprises

The Suquamish Tribe’s waterfront Clearwater Casino Resort is the flagship venture of Port Madison Enterprises.

SUQUAMISH, WA- February 2, 2018 The Suquamish Tribe is pleased to announce the selection of Samuel Askew as the new Chief Executive Officer of Port Madison Enterprises (PME).

“After an extensive search, we chose Samuel Askew for his experience and vision. We look forward to future growth and success with Samuel at the helm of our daily operations,” said Port Madison Enterprises Board President Greg George.

Askew brings nearly two decades of experience building and managing hospitality ventures in the Pacific Northwest to PME. He replaces retiring CEO Russell Steele, who spearheaded business operations at the Suquamish Tribe’s enterprises for 17 years.

“I want to congratulate Samuel Askew on his new role as head of PME, and thank the PME Board for their diligent efforts in making this important decision. Samuel is familiar with our Tribe, and we know he can help us grow our economic future in a diversified manner,” said Suquamish Tribal Chairman and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indian President Leonard Forsman.

Samuel Askew, new CEO of Port Madison Enterprises

The move to Suquamish is a homecoming for Askew. From 2006 to 2011 the hospitality veteran managed PME’s waterfront hotel, Clearwater Casino Resort, where he was named Washington State General Manager of the Year by the Washington Lodging Association and Innkeeper of the Year by the Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau in 2010.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to return to the area, and tribal community; leading teams of professionals throughout PME that I have a great respect and care for. It’s great to be home again!” said Askew.

For the past 7 years, Askew has managed operations at Tulalip Resort and Casino. He has also served as co-chair for Northwest Tribal Tourism and held executive positions at the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Little Creek Casino Resort, Alderbrook Resort and Spa, and Riverhouse Resort. Before beginning his career Askew studied Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University’s Hospitality School.

About Port Madison Enterprises
In 1987, the Suquamish Tribe established PME as an agency of the Suquamish Tribal Government. PME’s operations are aimed at developing community resources while promoting the economic and social welfare of the Suquamish Tribe through commercial activities. What began as a modest retail endeavor has grown exponentially over the last three decades.  PME now encompasses several businesses including Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, the historic Kiana Lodge, three retail outlets, White Horse Golf Course and a property management division. For more information about PME, visit them online at

New Vendor Friendly Area to Replace Aging Building Along Suquamish Waterfront

The building, often referred to as the “Barnacle Building” will be demolished in late January, 2018.

Demolition of the waterfront building located at 18408 Angeline Avenue in Downtown Suquamish will begin later this month. Work to raze the aging structure, formerly home to Scratch Kitchen and Bella Luna restaurants, is scheduled to start on January 22, 2018 and is expected to take a week to complete. Port Madison Enterprises (PME) owns the property, and made the tough decision to remove the building after an assessment last year.

The side of the building faces a steep cliff on the waterfront in Downtown Suquamish. Though the building will be torn down, PME is taking steps to ensure the unique tree near the entrance remains on the property.

“The building’s location on the cliff, its’ age and condition were all factors in the decision. We just aren’t able to salvage the structure,” said PME Board of Directors Member Windy Anderson.

After demolition, PME plans to create a covered, open space area on the property to be used for multiple vendors, including those selling food items.

“Hopefully we will be able to utilize the space to provide the community with multiple food choices by late summer,” added Anderson.

Though the building is slated for demolition, the Suquamish Tribe Archaeology and Historic Preservation Program has been tasked with ensuring the history of the property is recorded. During the last 50 years, it’s been a restaurant, a coffee cantina, a head shop, an art studio, an apartment complex and a private residence. Property records indicate the building was constructed in 1948 and originally used as a hotel for travelers. However, there is some debate about whether the building was built on the property, or ferried over by barge from Seattle, WA.

An aerial photograph of the Suquamish Waterfront cir. 1930, detailing the location of the old Suquamish Ferry Dock and Ticket Booth, shows the undeveloped property where the building would later be located. Courtesy of the Suquamish Museum archives.

A photo of the Downtown Suquamish waterfront estimated to be taken in the 1950s’, where the building can be viewed next to the old Suquamish Ferry Dock.

“Unfortunately, this is an era where we don’t have a lot of information in our archives for those properties. During the early decades of the 1900s the federal government aggressively implemented assimilation policies, including land allotment policies that allowed reservation property to be sold out of Tribal member ownership.  BIA Agents used discriminatory regulations that declared Tribal Members non-competent giving them the access to sell lands, mostly large waterfront parcels like downtown Suquamish,” said Traditional Heritage Specialist Marilyn Jones.

An old advertisement that appeared in the Seattle Star, offering cheap land on the Port Madison Indian Reservation. For more information on the Allotment & Assimilation Era click here. For more information on the early 20th century history of the town of Suquamish click here.

Jones is seeking additional information about the building from the community and encourages the public to submit any photos or stories about the property to her office by contacting her at

PME’s purchase of the property, and several others in the downtown Suquamish area over the last decade, is part of the Suquamish Tribe’s “Buy Back the Reservation” initiative. With help from a combination of funds, including profits from Tribally-owned businesses, the Suquamish Tribe has been able to purchase individual properties back from private owners.

In 2015, the Reservation Buy Back Initiative reached a new milestone when the Tribe negotiated the purchase of a 220-acre parcel of land at the headwaters of Cowling Creek. The acquisition, coupled with properties owned by the Tribal Government and those owned by individual Tribal members, meant that the Suquamish owned more than half the properties within reservation boundaries for the first time in more than half a century. The Suquamish Tribal Government continues to make the initiative a priority and sets aside funds for purchases when available each year.

Ocean to Table

Ocean to Table is a program at Chief Kitsap Academy designed to give students a hands-on learning experience that incorporates science and culture by taking them on the journey that fish make, from the ocean to their dinner tables.

Suquamish Fisheries Director Rob Purser shows Chief Kitsap Academy Students how to maintain salmon fishing nets.

Suquamish Fisheries Director Rob Purser shows Chief Kitsap Academy Students how to maintain salmon fishing nets.

 by Karen Matsumoto

One very cold mid-November morning students in the marine biology class at Chief Kitsap Academy found themselves out on Dyes Inlet learning how to catch chum salmon.  Jay Mills, his brother David, and Rob Purser provided the boats, equipment, and expertise, and generously gave their whole day to provide the first stage of a “start-to-finish” chum salmon fishing project. Students were prepared through classroom activities about outfitting a fishing boat.  Boots and raingear provided by the school and loaned by the Tribal Fisheries Department, so students were ready to brave the cold and participate in a day of hard work on a gillnetter. The project ended days later with delicious salmon that was smoked, canned, and ready to eat.

This innovative activity was the brainchild of Tribal Councilmember and Kiana Lodge manager Jay Mills and Randi Purser, language and cultural teacher at CKA. They realized that although just about everybody loves smoked salmon, most students had no idea of the energy, patience, and effort it takes to produce one jar of smoked salmon.

The project was incorporated into the salmon unit of the CKA marine biology curriculum by Marine Biology teacher, Karen Matsumoto.  Students learned about chum salmon life history early in the school year, and conducted macroinvertebrate sampling at Cowling Creek with Paul Dorn, Suquamish Fisheries biologist, and with biologists from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Kitsap County.  Students also conducted stream habitat investigations, monitoring water chemistry and stream health.  In late October, they saw chum salmon swimming upriver to spawn on Suquamish tribal lands for the first time in almost 100 years, thanks to the new fish ladder built by Trout Unlimited volunteers.

There was a field trip to the Grover Creek hatchery and classroom dissection activities. After investigating the internal anatomy of salmon, students practiced filleting the fish, an essential step in preparing them for smoking.

The November day on David’s and Jay’s boats included setting and pulling nets, disentangling salmon caught in the nets, and dealing with the unusual numbers of sea jellies encountered in Chico Bay.  Over 50 salmon were caught that day and by the end of the afternoon, the students were throwing fish like Pike Place Market fish vendors!  They helped pack the fish for processing and met at the Community House the salmon the following day to continue their work.  Jay Mills taught students how to clean and prepare fish for smoking, using his grandmother’s trick of placing the salmon on a bed of ferns to hold the fish in place and absorb the blood.  It was an all day effort to clean and process the fish, ending with the salmon fillets carefully packed with salt and sent to the smoker!

Students helped tend the fire in the smoker, and learned about the smoking process.  When the fish was ready, we met Jay at the Kiana Lodge kitchen for canning.  About half the fish was smoked, resulting in seven cases of pint jars of first-rate salmon.  The flavor was heavenly! These jars will be used as gifts to honor speakers and elders who come to the school and some may be sold for a school fundraiser.

Inspired by the success of this venture, Karen and Jay are developing a chum salmon fishing curriculum, so the program can be streamlined and duplicated every year.  This intensive project, extending over three weeks, was well worth the time and effort. Students gained hands-on experience in the Tribe’s local chum fishery, learned how to process and preserve salmon, and gained another important connection with their Tribal heritage.

Culvert Removal on Chico Creek

Ostrom Chico Creek

Tom Ostrom was the lead on the project for the Suquamish Tribe. He is pictured here, in front of the culvert, before its’ removal last summer.

Kitty Hawk Drive, just off Chico Way between Silverdale and Bremerton, WA was filled with work trucks and men in hard hats last summer. The relatively small, inconspicuous roadway was home to a stream culvert that was removed, thanks to the Suquamish Tribe’s cooperative efforts with local, state and federal officials.

Members of the Suquamish Tribe along with representatives from State, County and Federal regulatory agencies broke ground on the project on June 17, 2014.  Workers finished replacing the culvert with a bridge fall 2014, just in time for the early winter salmon runs in October and November.

Culverts are large cement tunnels that carry streams under roadways. The structures, used throughout the northwest during the last half of the twentieth century, create significantly faster running waterways that impede fish passage and damage creek beds.

Over the past several years the Suquamish Tribe has worked with government agencies and other organizations to remove the 40-foot culvert at Kitty Hawk Drive. The goal is to remove the even larger 400-foot culvert upstream under State Route 3 as well, resulting in a much healthier estuary at the mouth of Chico Creek.

Tom Ostrom, Salmon Recovery Coordinator in the Fisheries Department at the Suquamish Tribe, has been the lead on the project.

“The Washington State Department of Transportation has ranked the State Route 3 culvert as the second highest priority for replacement in the entire Olympia Region. Removing Kitty Hawk Drive from the historic Chico estuary is a necessary first step allowing for the future replacement of the State Route 3 culvert,” said Ostrom.
The Chico estuary is a diverse mix of habitats including stream and nearshore riparian, salt marsh, tidal distributary channels, and inter-tidal gravel beach. The Suquamish Tribe has documented juveniles of 5 species of Pacific salmon (including listed Chinook salmon and steelhead) rearing within the Chico estuary. In the early 1960s, the State Highway Department built State Route 3 and Kitty Hawk Drive on fill as deep as 50 feet, resulting in the loss of approximately 5 acres of channel, floodplain, and saltmarsh in the Chico Estuary.