“Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people…and the very dust upon which you now stand … is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of its sympathetic touch.” – Chief Seattle
In May 2018, the Suquamish Tribe reclaimed significant shoreline and land that was previously a large part of the original Port Madison Reservation. Reclaim is a word that when defined has several contradictory meanings: “take back”, “make new”, “set right”. The reclamation of the Suquamish Shores property is all three for our Native community. In the words of two Native scholars, “Our traditional culture and values of ownership are associated with the most important and fundamental of human rights: the right to life, food, shelter, the right to self-determination, and the right to exist as a people.” (Corntassel and Bryce, 2012).
Planning is underway to determine how best to configure the properties for the benefit of the Tribe as well as the broader community. Many exciting and enticing ideas are in the works – all focused on celebrating our history and culture and making the fabric of our community stronger.
Begun in 2016 as a new tradition and in celebration of Suquamish resilience, the Sovereign Style campaign honors resilience, shared culture, artistry and generosity. At this uplifting event, the individual stories depicted in the shawls and vests represent not only fashion, but the unique artistry that is forever a hallmark of the Suquamish people.
As we reclaim our homeland, we celebrate with pride the ceremonial style that has been an outward sign of our creativity, spirit, prayers, strength, protection and preservation of cultural values, relationships to homeland, and the natural world. By this practice, we enable these traditions and practices to continue in future generations.
Funds raised at this event will benefit the Suquamish Foundation.