Seattle will return nearly 300 artifacts to the Upper Skagit tribe

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SEATTLE (AP) — Hundreds of historic artifacts will soon be returned to the Upper Skagit Tribe from the city of Seattle.

The city has had stone and bone artifacts since Seattle City Light crews excavated the Gorge Dam site in 2013 for a hotel project, KUOW reported.. The Seattle City Council voted this week that the tribe should own it. It was a unanimous vote, 8-0.

The Upper Skagit Tribe once had a permanent winter village along the Skagit River. A portion of land, northeast of Seattle, is now considered City of Seattle property, as part of hydroelectric dam operations to generate hydroelectricity for Seattle.

The artifacts are currently housed in Marblemount, Washington at the North Cascades Visitor Center.

The new city ordinance says the tribe wants them back because the items have historical and cultural significance. Among them are flake pebble tools, scrapers, chopping and cutting devices, and hammers.

The tribe historically conducted fishing, shellfishing, hunting and gathering activities from salt water areas to the high mountainous parts of the Skagit River, according to tribal history.

When white settlers seized land in the 1880s, the Upper Skagit Tribe says more than a hundred canoes of people met with settlers to protest the land takeover.

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