Wednesday Mar 27, 2024

Forming Meaningful Partnerships with Shoalwater Seafood and Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe

In this episode of Main Street Business Insights, Matt sits down with Derek King and Jaime Courtney of Shoalwater Seafood, and Shane Thomas, Tribal Council Vice Chair of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. Located in Tokeland, Washington, Shoalwater Seafood grows oysters using a system that can stand up to the strong winds, rising sea levels, and difficult weather of the Hood Canal. In 2018, Shoalwater Seafood and the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe formed a working relationship that has led to the creation of an independent oyster nursery, beginning the development and certification of several hundred acres of Tidelands owned by the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe. 

The Shoalwater Bay Indian Reservation is a participating organization in Main Street America’s USDOT Thriving Communities program. Through the program, we are working with local community leaders to develop an increased awareness of Federal opportunities, prepare community leaders to implement infrastructure and community development projects, and build lasting local capacity for carrying out projects. Given the partnership, the group discusses how transportation and logistics impact Shoalwater Seafood’s business given the remoteness of their location to tourists and markets. 

In the episode, the group discusses the partnership between Shoalwater Seafood and Shoalwater Bay Indian tribe, their journey to oyster farming, insights on being a tribal enterprise, how tribal culture and values are reflected in the business, ways climate change has impacted the business, and more. 

Further Reading: Shoalwater Seafood | Washington State Main Street Program | Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe | USDOT Thriving Communities Program

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