November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to learn and honor the indigenous people who were the original stewards of the land we reside upon today. So often, indigenous history, culture, and customs are left out of lessons taught and stories told. A meaningful way to learn more about the land we inhabit is to visit museums, patronize indigenous-owned businesses, read books and articles by indigenous authors, and take in the numerous indigenous landmarks throughout our region.
Some of our favorite spots to appreciate and honor indigenous history, culture, and contributions are the Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus, Daybreak Start Indian Cultural Center in Discovery Park, and Snoqualmie Falls. All are accessible via transit.
The Burke Museum features art from six Pacific Northwest Native artists. Per the Burke Museum website, the gallery features “both newly-created and historic basketry, carvings, multimedia art, and more.” The Burke Museum is accessible via numerous Metro bus routes to the University District and Link light rail.
Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center
Situated on 20 acres in Seattle’s Discovery Park, the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center provides a hub for urban Indians throughout the Seattle area. The Cultural Center consists of a conference center, the United Indians’ Sacred Circle Gallery, and the United Indians organizational headquarters. The Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center is accessible via Metro bus route 33.
For a day trip to the eastside, take transit to Snoqualmie Falls. Metro bus route 208, departing from the Issaquah Transit Center Monday through Saturday, will take you within a 1/2 mile from the falls. Snoqualmie Falls is a sacred and culturally significant site for the Snoqualmie Tribe and is central to its people’s history, spiritual practice, and identity.
Aside from taking these trips to learn more about the history of our area, spend time building a better understanding of all the tribes of Washington. King County is on the ancestral lands of the Muckleshoot, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Tulalip, Suquamish, and Coast Salish Tribes, and the Duwamish people – and Seattle is home to an influential community of urban American Indian and Alaska Native organizations and individuals.