The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe announced on Wednesday that it had implemented a 2% land protection tax on all sales at Salish Lodge & Spa.
The tribe will use the money to fund projects and expenses related to protecting its ancestral lands. The tribe believes that this tax is the first in North America.
A spokesperson for the tribe of approximately 1,200 members declined to reveal how much revenue is expected from the tax. According to the website, there are 86 rooms in the lodge.
As a tribe recognized by the federal government, the Snoqualmie Tribal Government has the sovereign rights to assess and collect tax on activities that take place on its land.
In a press release, Chairman Robert M. de los Angeles stated that the lands protection tax "directly exercises the tribe's sovereignty and demonstrates our value." Visitors to the lodge will be proud to know that they are supporting the tribe in its efforts to restore and protect ancestral lands.
The tribe purchased the lodge, spa and adjacent lands for $125m four years ago to stop the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe developing hundreds of homes on land sacred to the Snoqualmie Tribe.
The tribe claims it has spent a lot of money to re-acquire and protect its ancestral lands, after the United States failed to deliver the reservation it promised in the 1930s.
The tribe's ancestral lands campaign was launched two years ago, and it aims to share information on tribal culture as well as perspectives on land.
The tribe announced last year that it had purchased a forest of 12,000 acres.
The tribe has been managing the land as a tree farm commercial for more than 150 years. They are now in the process to manage the lands in accordance with their values, based on restoration and reciprocity.
The lodge and spa reopened in April the old gift store, now called the sdukwalbixw Snoqualmie Fall Gift Shop & Visitor Center. Videos and other materials describe the tribe's relationship with the falls.
The tribe has given more than $13million to Washington nonprofits since 2010, and over 1,700 jobs are provided by tribal enterprises in the Snoqualmie Valley.