By De’Sean Quinn, Metro Assistant General Manager of Partnerships and Strategy

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, I would like to take a moment to recognize how fortunate we are to live in a region that benefits tremendously from the generations of Native American people on whose land we currently live. King County is on the ancestral lands of the Muckleshoot, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Tulalip, Suquamish and Coast Salish Tribes and the Duwamish people.  

As we reflect on and celebrate the traditions, languages, stories and contributions of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Island communities, it’s also important that we understand the deeper meaning and purpose behind recognizing heritage months. A great place to start is through the new Community Conversation Series: Indigenous Voices, Truth and Movements Amplified—brought to us by members of the King County Native American Leadership Council (NALC). 

This three-part video series takes a closer look at the meaning behind Indigenous Peoples Day and Native American Heritage Month—examining how we can recognize these moments not only for a day or a month, but throughout our everyday lives. The conversations will dive into the experiences of Indigenous and Native community members to better understand the culture, struggle and resilience within these communities.  

The first video in this series takes a closer look at how we can recognize Indigenous communities in a more engaging and transformative way. The video features perspectives from NALC members and King County employees including, Stacey McQuade, Katherine Festa, Avreayl Jacobson and Ninona Boujrada. Click here to watch the video. 

Another meaningful way to learn more about Native American history and culture is to visit museums, support Indigenous-owned businesses, read books by Indigenous authors and take in the numerous landmarks throughout our region. Real Rent Duwamish offers this placemat as a resource on how to take part in the Thanksgiving holiday while also honoring Native American history and heritage. Below are a few transit-accessible places across King County that appreciate and honor the history, culture and contributions of the Indigenous community.  

  • Daybreak Start Indian Cultural Center is on 20 acres in Seattle’s Discovery Park and provides a hub for urban Indians throughout the Seattle area. The Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center is accessible via Metro bus route 33. 
  • 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. Metro bus route 208, departing from the Issaquah Transit Center Monday through Saturday, will take you within a 1/2 mile from the falls. 
  • The Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus features art from six Pacific Northwest Native artists. The Burke Museum is accessible via numerous Metro bus routes to the University District and Link light rail. 

So often, Indigenous history, culture and customs are left out of lessons taught and stories told. As you spend time with these resources, I encourage you to also share that knowledge with others so that these important moments continue to be recognized not only in November but throughout our daily lives. Learning is a gift to be practiced throughout a lifetime.