Thriving tribal communities, arts and culture are critically important to Washington's tribes. Native American culture has flourished in our region for thousands of years, and by investing in tribal community-building organizations, museums, art and cultural centers, school programs and the annual Canoe Journey, Washington's tribes are working to ensure native culture continues to be an integral part of our regional identity, for Indians and non-Indians alike.
For more information about the Paddle to Quinault 2013 Canoe Journey, please click here.
Case Study: Suquamish Museum Hosts Impressive Display of Tribal Culture
The newest of a growing number of tribal museums around the Pacific Northwest, the Suquamish Museum and Cultural Center, located near Poulsbo on the Kitsap Peninsula, features over 9,000 square feet of Salish art, carvings, and history as well as a performance space and museum store. Built in the style of a traditional longhouse, the museum is part of a tribal campus that also includes an Elder Center, the Marion Forsman-Bousie Early Learning Center, and the House of Awakened Culture, an indoor event center.
The Squamish is not alone in its efforts to preserve and share native art, history and culture. The Makah, Yakama, Tulalip, Squaxin Island and other tribes have their own museums, as well as wood-carving centers, workshops and other cultural hubs. For more information on the new Squamish Museum, visit its website here.
For more information about tribal investments, please visit our News Archive.
Other tribal art, community building, cultural programs and events include:
- A pilot program between the Suquamish Tribe and Sound Experience teaches children about Puget Sound and the native culture of the Pacific Northwest!
- Check out this awesome short film produced by Tower Films about the Canoe Journey! Stunning shots and great interviews with pullers.
- The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe produced this great video detailing some of the S'Klallam culture and history.
- The Yakama Nation Museum in Toppenish is showing off a new exhibit of Columbia Plateau Indian baskets, bags and other native weavings. Read more about the display, as well as the history of the artifacts and their purpose, in this great article from the Yakima Herald-Republic!
- President Obama has appointed Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe, to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. "I want to build on the advisory council's efforts to recognize and protect those cultural resources that are important to Tribes," said Forsman.
- At the Tulalip Tribes Hibulb Cultural Center, children and parents are working to keep the Lushootseed language alive for future generations, and proper pronunciation is the key.
- The Samish Indian Nation, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and the Washington State Parks invite the public to attend the Eighth Annual Salish Sea Native American Culture Celebration on June 8th at Deception Pass State Park. The event will include cultural art, weaving, carving, canoe rides, native singers, drummers and storytellers. A salmon lunch also will be available for purchase.
- The Klallam people from the Elwha, Jamestown and Port Gamble tribes are celebrating a new Klallam Dictionary that took over 25 years to complete and will be a valuable tool in preserving the Klallam Language.
- Sacred whale songs and traditional dances are performed by the The Quileute Nation in honor of the return of the gray whales who are now passing the Washington coast on their annual migration north.
- The mission of the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve is to revive, restore, protect, interpret, collect and enhance the history, traditional cultural values and spiritual beliefs of the Tulalip Tribes.
- The Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe's Foundation successfully completed a $4.5 million capital campaign to build the House of Knowledge, including the first tribal Longhouse in over 100 years, an Elders Center, a Career and Education Center and a recently completed Little Boston Library.
- Youth from the Suquamish Tribe are working to preserve their culture and keep the Lushootseed language alive.
- Makah tribal youth are finding success and fun in the "old, borrowed tradition" of War Canoe Racing, placing in several meets in 2012.
- The nonprofit Port Gamble S'Klallam Foundation is working hard to "improve the quality of life for Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal members while increasing the understanding of the Tribe's rich cultural heritage with people who reside in the Puget Sound area and visitors from far and wide."