Colville Tribes Getting Involved in Skookum Sign Fight
The Colville Confederated Tribes are getting involved in the City of Wenatchee's fight to bring the Skookum Indian sign back into public view.
Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz and Executive Services Director Laura Gloria met with the Colville Confederated Tribes' Cultural Committee late last month the discuss attempts to acquire the sign.
Kuntz has suggested the city council could consider purchasing the 14-foot-tall sign for its historical value.
The sign's owner, the fruit company Blue Bird Inc., removed the sign for repairs earlier this year but reportedly intends to keep it in storage. The company says they no longer use the Skookum logo in their marketing efforts and they believe use of the image may have been hurtful to some.
Kuntz said committee members asked what they city has done in terms with working with Blue Bird to get the sign back into public view.
"I explained to (the Colville Tribes) that we had reached out to Blue Bird and were told that they weren't interested in talking to us." said Kuntz, "I had asked if our attorney and their attorney could at least chat about maybe some ways to make a deal. That was also rebuffed by Blue Bird."
Lawyers for the Colville Tribes will next meet with Blue Bird's attorneys to see if any progress in acquiring the sign can be made. If the Colville Tribes end up in possession of the sign it will be up to tribal officials to decide how and where the sign will be displayed.
There have been suggestions on social media that the sign be displayed either inside the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center or somewhere outdoors for passersby to view it.
The Skookum Indian sign was first erected in 1921 and for the last two decades sat on top of the Office Depot building on 9th Street and North Wenatchee Avenue in Wenatchee before being taken down by Blue Bird.