In this month's newsletter: recognizing Native American Heritage Month, tribes' charitable giving, new educational resource, updates from tribes, and more.

Recognizing Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate tribes' vital contributions—past and present—to communities, culture, the environment, and the economy across Washington state and throughout the country. 
There are lots of opportunities to learn about and honor tribes throughout the month of November and beyond.  Not sure where to start? Check out our list below. 
Greater Seattle Area
  • Lummi artist Dan Friday and Tlingit artists Preston Singletary and Raven Skyriver come together in Fluid in Nature, a contemporary glass exhibition that merges modern approaches with traditional Native imagery and techniques. The exhibit runs Nov. 4-26 at the Stonington Gallery in Seattle.
  • Artist Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe, will give a talk titled Beadwork, Weaving, Tools, and Carving: Intertwined in a Way of Life on Nov. 17 at the Burke Museum.
  • Native American artists will be selling and showcasing handmade authentic arts and crafts at the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center’s Native Art Market on Nov. 19 and 20.
  • Indigenous Art of the Salish Sea, a group show of Native American artists from or working in the Salish sea region, runs Nov. 4-27 at Vashon Center for the Arts.
  • Tacoma Public Libraries will Honor Native American Heritage Month with a storywalk for all ages. The picture book We Are Still Here! by Traci Sorell will be on display from November 1-30 at several library branches.
  • The 14th Annual Native American Art Exhibition, A Weaver’s Choice - Coast Salish Wool Weavings curated by Selena Kearney, is at the Leonor R. Fuller Gallery in Olympia from Nov. 7 to Dec. 9.
Eastern Washington
  • Gonzaga University Urban Arts Center’s new exhibit, Land Acknowledgment, features works by 17 contemporary Indigenous artists through Dec. 3.
  • The Kalispel Tribe of Indians’ Northern Quest Casino’s list of Native American Heritage Month events includes a free traditional Native American dance and drumming performance by members of various plateau tribes on Nov. 19.
  • The Student Diversity Center at WSU Spokane is celebrating the history and traditions of Indigenous culture with a lineup of events including an Indigenous Medicine and Indigenous Foods Workshops on Nov. 22.
  • The National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Cinema Showcase runs online Nov. 18-25. This annual celebration of the best in Indigenous film includes a total of 35 films (six features and 30 shorts) representing 30 Native nations.
  • The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is spotlighting resources on the heritage of the Puyallup Tribal people. These resources have been created to support learning about the Tribe’s history, culture and language.
  • Join the annual virtual unity event, Rock Your Mocs, Nov. 13-19. Wear your moccasins, take a photo, create a video or story, add the hashtag #ROCKYOURMOCS and upload to social media.
Have an event or resource to add to this list? Leave us a note in the comment section of this facebook post!

Making a Difference: Tribes’ Charitable Contributions

Under state gaming compacts, tribes in Washington agree to support responsible gaming and contribute to local fire, police, and other government bureaus that might otherwise bear the impact costs of casinos. Many tribes also go above and beyond these agreements to provide additional support to the community. In fact, over the past decade, tribes have donated tens of millions of dollars to thousands of organizations across the state. Additional in-kind contributions amplify this outreach by extending health, fitness, and other reservation community resources to non-Indians.
Source: The Economic & Community Benefits of Tribes in Washington
(Data from survey respondent tribes.)
Here are just a few examples of recent tribal charitable giving:

Cowlitz Tribe of Indians
The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation supports veteran services, food shelters, organizations addressing houselessness, and funding assistance so everyone can access cultural experiences, the arts, and education without barriers. Over the last four years, the Foundation has fulfilled 1,000 grant requests, investing 25 million dollars into organizations and non-profits serving people in their communities.

For example, in September 2022 the tribe donated $250,000 to the Humane Society of Southwest Washington to support their care of people, dogs, and cats in the community. Earlier this year, the Tribe donated a new fire engine to Clark-Cowlitz Fire and Rescue, recognizing the strong partnership between the two organizations, and the commitment the Tribe has to supporting first responders and upholding public health and safety in Cowlitz county.

Tulalip Tribes
The Tulalip Tribes’ Charitable Contributions Fund provides the opportunity for a sustainable and healthy community for all. The program has assisted over 245 charitable organizations with over 50 million dollars since 1993. In late October 2022 the Tribe held a celebration recognizing more than 375 Washington-based community groups and nonprofits who made a positive difference in 2022 using $7.2 million in Tulalip Tribal support.  Grant recipients’ work ranged from housing and hunger support to early childhood education and performing arts.

New Publication from Washington Tribes

WA Tribes and the Washington Indian Gaming Association are excited to announce a newly updated educational resource about tribes in Washington. Washington Indian Tribes Today provides essential information about modern-day tribes in the state and what tribal governments are doing to preserve culture, sustain the environment and natural resources, build communities and enrich people. This special publication is available now on the Washington Tribes website.

A limited number of print copies are available for use in educational settings. Request yours using this online form.

Tribal Updates

We love sharing news from tribes across the state! We hope you enjoy this month’s updates. (Have tribal news to share in a future newsletter? Send us a note at

Squaxin Island Tribe: Priest Point Park Renamed Squaxin Park
Squaxin Island Tribal Council, along with staff from the Cultural Resources Department, Museum Library and Research Center, and Executive Services, worked with City of Olympia Council and employees for many months to plan for the day when Priest Point Park would be renamed Squaxin Park. In a very perfect way, the renaming ceremony took place on Indigenous Peoples Day, October 10th, 2022.

Squaxin Island Tribal Chairman Kris Peters (after first offering the microphone to fellow Tribal Council members) greeted a large crowd of tribal members, community members (Olympia and Squaxin Island Tribe), and Olympia School District students. He often spoke first in Lushootseed and then translated into English.  He spoke about the Tribe's connection to the natural environment and the ancestors who also frequented the area. "sRaxsedebš - sTeVas - lived . . . stewarded these lands, and waterways for thousands of years," he said. "We honor them by continuing the stewardship of these important places. We are still here today. We hold our seven generations, past and present, close to our hearts.  Our ancestors are always with us, and we live the present, not just for us, but for our future generations." 

Excerpt from KLAH-CHE-MIN, Squaxin Island Tribe’s newsletter. Read the full story here.

Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation: San Poil Treatment Center celebrates new graduates
The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation opened the San Poil Treatment Center in late fall of 2021 to address the growing need for chemical dependency services and has since successfully graduated over a dozen clients. The 46-bed facility in Keller, Washington delivers the highest evidence-based substance abuse treatment options while integrating traditional healing practices of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. San Poil's Cultural Specialists work to enhance the modern therapies with activities central to the Colville Tribes and other Tribes of the region. Traditional healing and cultural submersion helps the AI/AN community to engage, find a sense of self, and understanding, which we believe helps to increase the opportunity for success. More information is available at

Social Media Highlight

Here’s one of our favorite and most popular recent Facebook posts (visit Washington Tribes on Facebook to read the whole post and see what else we’ve shared lately).

Recent News About Tribes in Washington

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