Tlingit & Haida opens Washington office

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) announced it is opening a new Washington office.

The 12,250 square-foot office is located in Lynnwood, Washington on the second floor of the Northview Center (20700 44th Avenue West, Suite 220).

With more than 8,200 tribal citizens living in the Washington area now, Tlingit & Haida President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson said this has been one of his top priorities as the Tribe works to establish a presence in all of our communities. 

“This is a vision come true and I am really excited that we finally have a home base in Washington,” said President Peterson. “As I’ve said before, we are committed to removing any barriers that may keep us from meeting our citizens where they are. Centralizing access to our programs and support services is the first step toward doing that. This is just the beginning of what we have planned to better meet the needs our tribal citizens. I see a lot more collaboration and partnerships with agencies and organizations coming from this.” 

The office space has been secured under a long-term lease agreement and staff who have been working remotely from Washington are settling into their new offices this week.

“We are honored to bring services closer to home for our tribal citizens in Washington and the surrounding area,” said Roald Helgesen, Chief Operating Officer. “We appreciate the co-location of the Seattle Tlingit & Haida Community Council offices to offer more programs for our people.”

The office will house 20 full-time staff providing Child Welfare, Child Support, Community Navigator, Cultural Heritage & Education, Grants & Resources, Program Compliance (Tribal Enrollment), and Tribal Court services. 

A large classroom has also been dedicated for the Tribe’s Cultural Heritage & Education Division to host language, arts, cultural, and educational programs.

“It is exciting to see Tlingit & Haida express its tribal sovereignty and open an office in Washington to serve our citizens,” shared Third Vice President Catherine Edwards, who resides and works in Washington. “This is a dream come true and something I have long advocated for since being elected to the Executive Council. We now have a place to gather, do business, deliver services, teach cultural classes, and put our people to work. We have a place that says, ‘Yes, you belong!’”  

The office includes reserved office space for the Tlingit & Haida Washington Chapter and Tlingit Haida Tribal Business Corporation and will provide conference room space for Tlingit & Haida Community Council members to hold their meetings.

With a hotel nearby and the new Lynnwood City Center Station Light Rail coming in 2024, itinerant staff will also be able to work from the Washington office with ease.

A grand open house will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, from 2 PM to 6 PM (Pacific Time). at the Lynnwood Office.

All are invited to celebrate this momentous occasion with Tlingit & Haida which will include opening remarks from leadership, a dance performance, a tour of the office, food and refreshments, and informational tables.