Published on January 6, 2013 by Amy
The Nooksack (pron.: /ˈnʊksæk/; Nooksack: Noxwsʼáʔaq) are a Native American people in northwestern Washington state in the United States. The tribe lives in the mainland northwest corner of the state near the small town of Deming, Washington (in western Whatcom County), and has over 1,800 enrolled members.
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In 1971, the tribe was ceded a one acre (4,000 m²) reservation after they received federal recognition status from the United States government. They subsequently increased reservation land to 2,500 acres (10 km²) including 65 acres (260,000 m2) of tribally owned trust land. Like most Northwest Coast indigenous peoples, in pre-Colonial times the Nooksack relied on fishing as well as gathering for sustenance. As of the 2000 census, the Nooksack Indian Reservation, at 48°53′03″N 122°20′54″W in Whatcom County, had a resident population of 547 persons living on 2,720 acres (11 km2)) of land. Of these residents, 373 persons, or 68.2 percent, were of solely Native American heritage.
The Nooksack language (Lhéchalosem) belonged to the Coast Salishan family of Native American but became extinct around 1988. In the 1970s the Salishan linguist Brent Galloway worked closely with the last remaining fluent speaker and is currently completing a dictionary of the language.