Tribal Government Departments
Intergovernmental Affairs
Page last updated:
June 1, 2023
9:26 am

Philip Starr Administration Building

39015-A 172nd AVE SE

Auburn, WA 98092


MON 8:00am - 5:00pm

TUE 8:00am - 5:00pm

WED 8:00am - 5:00pm

THU 8:00am - 5:00pm

FRI 8:00am - 5:00pm

Department Overview

Tribal Chairman Jaison Elkins with U.S.Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

The Intergovernmental Affairs Department works to support and advance the Muckleshoot Tribal Council's federal, state, and local government legislative agendas. Our team strives to develop and maintain strong and productive government-to-government relationships between our Tribal government and state, local and federal governments, and agencies, and preserving the important protocols of Tribal consultation, effective partnerships and relationships that benefit not only the tribe but our state and local community as well.

Our office also administers the tribe's public relations program. We work to organize and carryout various community engagement activities, educational programs, and effective outreach efforts to build on and maintain strong relationships with communities of color, nonprofit organizations, resource providers as well as the community at large.

Administering the Muckleshoot charitable donations program in support of the charity committee is another of our important responsibilities. We make funding recommendations and provide quarterly reports to the committee. Each year the committee makes hundreds of charity fund contributions to local non-profit organizations and educational institutions.

Services Provided

Outlook for 2023

Our team will continue to support the Tribal Council's important work advocating for tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and treaty rights. We will build on the strong relationship the tribe has developed with our legislative, Tribal and community partners and work to maintain the tribe's status as an important regional government.

Highlights of 2022

Advocacy and Public Relations

The IGA staff, with the support of the tribe's lobbyists and consultants, developed and executed a program to advance the Tribal Council's legislative and public relations agendas. Key items included:

Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-Kansas), 4th from right, and her mother (in floral blouse) shared some food and conversation withseveral Tribal Council members and their families last June. Afterward, they visited the Veterans Pow Wow, where Sharice’s mom, a veteran, was honored along with other Native veterans.


The Tribal Council, IGA staff, and our D.C. based law/policy firm continued to successfully elevate the Tribe's federal agenda and advance its sovereign objectives in 2022. The Tribal Council's relationship building efforts at the federal level, supported by IGA staff and our D.C. team progressed significantly.

During 2022 numerous high-level federal officials came to visit the Reservation and traditional territories to learn more about Muckleshoot, which is a testimony to the significant effort that the Tribe puts into elevating its voice at the federal level. The government-to-government relationship is one that takes persistence and determination to upkeep, but the Tribal Council and IGA staff are committed to upholding the Tribe's treaty rights and sovereignty.

The Tribe continues to fight to uphold and protect its treaty fishing rights by working to restore fish runs and increase funding for salmon restoration. These efforts culminated in significant federal investments in the Tribe's usual and accustomed fishing areas to bolster the health of the waters and the resiliency of the salmon. The Tribal Council was invited by Senator Murray and Congresswoman Schrier to a major funding announcement at Howard Hanson Dam because the Tribe has been so engaged.

Additionally, Chair Elkins was invited to participate in an event with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, and Congresswoman Schrier to celebrate a project to remove a culvert that has been a barrier to fish passage. The Tribe has been a major advocate for funding to remove fish barriers and replace culverts that are impeding fish runs.


In this past legislative session the Tribe supported the successful passage of two bills dealing with Missing and Murdered Indigenous People: One created a statewide alert system similar to Amber Alerts for missing indigenous persons, and the other bill would ensure better notice and inter-agency collaboration, and to provide grant funding for additional services to survivors. The Tribe will continue to serve on the Attorney General's Task Force and will continue to help be a voice on this critical issue.


Our local government relations team had a busy and productive 2022. Meetings with Seattle's new mayor and city council members strengthened the tribe's government-to-government relationship with the city. One of the outcomes of that relationship will be a greatly expanded Muckleshoot presence on the Seattle waterfront in 2023. Regular meetings were also held with the tribe's other regional government partners, King County, and the City of Auburn.

A Memorandum of Agreement between the tribe and Port of Seattle was developed to establish a formal mechanism to promote economic development, education and job training opportunities for Tribal members, treaty-reserved resource protection and fish and wildlife habitat restoration.

Charity Fund

The Muckleshoot Charity Fund provides hundreds of monetary donations annually to local bona fide non-profits, churches, and schools.

Public Relations

Work with our Communications and Public Relations firm has raised the Tribe's visibility in the greater region and promoted a greater understanding of Muckleshoot culture and history – etc.

Overseen Programs & Services