The Centennial Accord: What has been its impact on government-togovernment relations between tribes and the State in Washington?

Authors: Barbara Leigh Smith

Disciplines: History, Law, Native American Studies, Political Science and Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology

Themes: Cultural Preservation, Education Reform, Health and Wellness, Intergovernmental Relations, Law and Justice, Salmon, Treaty Rights and Sovereignty

In 1989 the federally recognized tribes and the State of Washington developed and signed the Centennial Accord.   Washington became the first state to establish a government-to-government relationship through this type of formal agreement.  Coming after the highly contentious years following the US v Washington case (often called the Boldt decision) on Indian fishing rights, the Centennial Accord was “intended to build trust and confidence among the parties in the government-to-government relationship” …and…“improve the respectful relationship and services delivered to people by the parties” (2004). This case explores the history of the Centennial Accord, its impact, and the lessons about intergovernmental relationships.