Submitted by Willie Frank III Nisqually Tribe Chairman.
The Nisqually Tribe strongly objects to the proposal of renaming Ft. Steilacoom Park. To do so erases the history of this area which includes the jailing and hanging of our Nisqually Chief Leschi there.
We are requesting a government to government meeting to discuss this and the ways that Ft. Steilacoom could be a place of interpretation about the Nisqually Tribe, which should have occurred before this proposal was made.
We in no way want to disrespect Claudia Thomas and her achievements – but there are many other places that do not carry this weight of history to consider for her honor.
If you are not familiar with the history of Ft. Steilacoom or Leschi, we direct you to our slideshow about Leschi, who was posthumously exonerated in 2004 or Cecilia Svinth Carpenter’s book, Chief Leschi, Last of the Nisquallies, which can be found at most of the local libraries.