King Mountain Tobacco Company Inc. is located in White Swan, Washington within the boundaries of the Yakama Nation.
King Mountain Tobacco Company Inc. is a Native American owned premium tobacco manufacturer located within the boundaries of the Yakama Nation. In early 2000, Yakama Nation tribal businessman, Delbert Wheeler, had a dream to manufacture premium tobacco products. In order to fulfill this dream, Delbert sought out a highly experienced and respected tobacco blender to create King Mountain’s premium blend. Jaime Aburto, a fourth generation blender, whose had success blending tobacco worldwide; teamed up with Mr. Wheeler to develop the King Mountain blend.
The tobacco plant, indigenous to the Yakama native land, is an intensely sacred and spiritual plant in the Native American culture. Its early uses include warding off negative spirits and as an instrument of prayer.
The King Mountain Tobacco family is an accumulation of multigenerational men and women who have worked alongside Delbert Wheeler for over 30 years in his various businesses. These businesses include logging, gravel pits, construction, convenience stores, smoke shops and Wheeler Farms. The King Mountain quality is the result of this family atmosphere and is enhanced by its collective parts converging to realize a common dream.
What began as a dream among friends has now transformed into a thriving and prosperous manufacturer of premium tobacco products. Today King Mountain products can be found coast to coast, border to border.
As far back as Yakama’s history has been recorded the territory now referred to as the Cascade Mountain Range to the Columbia river and beyond, has been a part of the Yakama Nation ancestral holdings, this qualifies them as original owners of these territories.
At the signing of the Treaty of 1855, which took place near present day Walla Walla, Washington, 14 tribes and bands were confederated into the Yakama Indian Nation. Of the original 10.8 million acres of Yakama domain, 1.3 million acres were set aside by the treaty of 1855 as the Yakama reservation. Today the Yakama nation consists of 10,200 enrolled tribal members.
A distinct attribute of the Yakama Nation Treaty of 1855 is the specific language that was included within the minutes of the Treaty regarding the trade of tobacco. Trade not only Native to Native, but also Native to Non-Native. This allows the Yakama Nation, as well as its membership exclusive rights protected within our Treaty to continue on with tobacco trade free of injury.
Today King Mountain grows its own tobacco within the Yakama Valley on Tribal land. Our premium tobacco is blended within the King Mountain Products.
Due to the Nature of our Treaty language, King Mountain Tobacco takes an aggressive stand in exercising the right to travel and trade tobacco, "Border to Border – Ocean to Ocean." In 1855 Chief Kamiakin, when asked if Yakama’s wanted to trade for the non-indian tobacco he stated, "we the Yakama people have our own tobacco, and we shall reserve the right to trade our tobacco, and the non-indian tobacco fee-less." These Treaty rights have in recent times been reinforced by case law within the Supreme Court, as well as 9th Circuit District Court.