Kalaloch Lodge Partners with Local Tribes
Olympic National Park is the ancestral homeland of eight Native American tribes. Upon contract acquisition, management reached out to each of the Federally Recognized Tribes. Delaware North attended and presented at tribal council monthly meetings explaining their intent to receive tribal input, advice, and guidance regarding concessions issues that may impact them. To develop long lasting and mutually beneficial relationships, Delaware North staff introduced themselves as partners and good neighbors. In their honor, tribal representatives were invited for dinner at Kalaloch Lodge. These outreach efforts contributed to Kalaloch’s strong relationship with the tribes. Today, this is reflected through product offerings, guest programs and human resources.
At Kalaloch Lodge, tribal members showcase, sell, and share their traditions, artifacts and handicrafts by hosting events such as storytelling and demonstrations (e.g., basket weaving, beading, and carving). Twenty percent of the gift store’s space is devoted to Native American handicrafts. Additionally, numerous interpretative signs accompany this artwork. These opportunities provide unique visitor experiences for guests so that they may better understand the park’s Native Americans and their way of life.
In partnership with Pendleton, a custom blanket was designed to honor the area’s Native American heritage. The blankets include an interpretive message about the eight tribes and are placed in each guest room; these blankets are also sold in the gift store. As a token of gratitude, a blanket was gifted to each tribal council. Guest room amenities also feature bath products from Sister Sky, a Native American, women-owned company in Washington State.
Delaware North donates time and resources to the local tribes. For the past two years Kalaloch Lodge has partnered with the local Queets-Clearwater school for Earth Day. Student activities include cleanups of the Native American village of Queets, tree plantings, and healthy food/cooking demonstrations.
To help support the “Journey to Quinault” event, Kalaloch Lodge provided extra supplies of wood and ice to participants and supporters at local campgrounds. They also donated ice at the final landing site.
Approximately 40% of Kalaloch’s associates are of Native American descent. The associate-guest interactions serve to enhance a sense of place. We actively hire from the local Native American communities and work with the tribes to promote employment opportunities. Not all tourism involves “staged” authenticity; Kalaloch’s on-site Native American community presents cultural realities, educating guests through genuine communication.
Kalaloch Lodge will continue to collaborate with the Native American tribes while operating along the Olympic Peninsula and look forward to future opportunities that promote their culture as well as enhance guest and associate experiences.