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New state ferry named after Samish tribe

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Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:38 pm

The Washington State Transportation Commission decided Tuesday to name one of the two new Washington state ferries being built after the Samish Indian Nation, according to a statement from the tribe.

“Samish” and “Tokitae” were selected as the names of the 144-car ferries.

The Tokitae is currently under construction and is expected to go into service in the Spring of 2014, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Construction on the Samish is expected to begin next month. That vessel scheduled to be on the water in early 2015.

The Samish could be assigned to the Anacortes-San Juan Islands run, or the Mukilteo-Clinton or Seattle-Bremerton routes.

The Samish Indian Nation hopes the Samish vessel will take on the Anacortes-San Juans passage, tribal spokeswoman Nicole Tesch said.

The name “Samish” means the “giving people, the people who stand up and give,” according to the tribe’s statement.

“This is a true blessing and great honor for our people,” Samish Tribal Chairman Thomas Wooten said in the statement.

The new ferries will replace aging boats in the state’s fleet.

Other names in the running were Cowlitz, Hoquiam, Muckleshoot, Sammamish and Ivar Haglund.

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