Exploring the rich and complex cultural legacy of tribes in the Puget Sound region is a wonderful way to celebrate Native American Heritage Month during November.
The month celebrates the traditions, languages and stories of Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and affiliated Island communities and their histories and contributions. A Proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month, 2023 | The White House
For an initial, local orientation, the University of Washington maintains this site on the first peoples of this region and their history and culture. Historylink.org likewise explores the first peoples of the region and their enduring, resilient cultures.
Visiting important sites around our region is a terrific way to learn more about our local tribes and their past and present. You can take transit to all of them!
- Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center at Discovery Park. The 20-acre Center was established by the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. An art gallery, gift shop and cultural and social programs distinguish the facility. 5011 Bernie Whitebear Way. Metro bus route 33 serves the Center. (Please note there is a 0.4 mile walk or roll from the nearest bus stop.)
- Burke Museum, located at the northwest corner of the University of Washington campus. The museum offers artifacts and treasures from throughout the region, including Northwest Native American baskets, archaeological findings and so much more. Do not miss the Pacific Voices display on the First Salmon Ceremony. Off the Rez, which bills itself as Seattle’s first Native food truck, also runs a café at the museum. (Museum entry isn’t required to visit the café.) Accessible by Link light rail and numerous bus routes. Visit Metro’s Trip Planner to plan your trip.
- Museum of History & Industry, also known as MOHAI. The museum’s permanent exhibit, True Northwest: The Seattle Journey, showcases local Native American people and their stories from the city. Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Avenue North. Several bus routes, along with the Seattle Streetcar, are close to MOHAI.
- Seattle University’s Vi Hilbert Ethnobotanical Garden is the place to go to view, learn and appreciate more about the plants that sustained local tribes with food and medicine as well as the materials needed for art, building, carving, fishing and rituals. The campus garden honors Vi Hilbert and “her efforts to ‘reawaken’ and sustain the Lushootseed language and culture of the Puget Sound region.” Located on James Street, between Broadway and 12th Numerous bus routes, along with the Seattle Streetcar, are close to Seattle University.
We hope you enjoy visiting these cultural treasures and celebrating this wonderful month.
Thank you to Visit Seattle for their great background on our local history.