Protect Indigenous Heritage by Saving the Northwest National Archives

Target: Bob Ferguson, Washington State Attorney General

Goal: Protect indigenous heritage by keeping the National Archives in Seattle open.

The National Archives in Seattle, which hold countless undigitized historical documents from the Pacific Northwest, are set to be closed and moved to California within the next year. Many of these documents are tribal treaties and local historical information, which are very important to indigenous heritage. The archives include documents from Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.

The decision to close the archives was made by the Public Buildings Reform Board suddenly, and without input from local representatives. Because of the historical value of the archives, its closing has been met with outcry from local historians and many tribes of the Pacific Northwest, including the Puyallup tribe. Indigenous groups would be the most affected by the closing of the archives because many of the documents pertain to indigenous culture and heritage. Additionally, most of these documents aren’t digitized, so they can only be accessed at the archives. If the archives are moved all the way to California it will be even more challenging for indigenous groups to access their history.

The reason the archives in Seattle are being closed is because of the cost of funding the building and staff. But what’s more costly: keeping a building open or blocking people from accessing the history of their culture? Tribes have already lost so much between reservations and assimilation, and indigenous communities continue to be neglected by the federal government despite their need for support. Their history should be something they get to keep. Sign the petition below to save the National Archives in Seattle.


Dear Attorney General Ferguson,

The Public Buildings Reform Board has decided to move the National Archives in Seattle to California within the next year, which would make it difficult for Northwest tribes and local historians to access historical information from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Many of these documents are undigitized and can only be accessed in person. These documents are especially important to indigenous heritage.

Indigenous groups should have access to historical documents so they can continue to uphold their culture and history. Removing the archives from Seattle is another way indigenous groups have been stripped of their cultural heritage. I urge you to sue the Public Buildings Reform Board to save the National Archives in Seattle.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: SounderBruce

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196 Signatures

  • Diane Racz
  • Anne Corrigan
  • Nancy Fifer
  • Amber Lee
  • Sandra Bigart
  • Robin Craft
  • Brenda Dumont
  • Norma Campbell
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