In place of Columbus Day, Seattle City Council rightly recognizes the first Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which honors Native cultures and communities in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. From special events to continuing exhibitions, there are many ways to discover local tribal traditions, see Native artwork and performances, and learn about current issues faced by Native communities during the week of October 11 and beyond.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 11
Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021
The Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center will host a virtual celebration full of dancing, singing, and stories. This year’s theme, “Our Existence Is Our Resistance,” honors the survivors of residential schools, which separated indigenous children from their families. There will also be a drive-through component at the center from noon to 3 pm—while supplies last, you can pick up a bag with a meal, candle, and an #everychildmatters T-shirt and bracelet.
Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, Virtual and Magnolia, free
Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021: “All My Relations”
The Seattle Channel’s virtual Indigenous People’s Day event will include speakers, music, and performances, all centering around the theme of “All My Relations.”
End of The Line: The Women of Standing Rock
Meaningful Movies Port Townsend will present a virtual screening of End of The Line: The Women of Standing Rock, a documentary about “a group of indigenous women who risk their lives to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline construction.”
Indigenous People’s Day Party
Indigenize Productions, a collective of indigenous Turtle Island performers and artists, will present a showcase of indigenous drag, comedy, dance, poetry, and music, followed by a dance party. Performers include Hailey Tayathy, Howie Echo-Hawk, Delia Gomez, Stephy Styles, and DJ Cuts One. The show is free, but the organizers suggest making a donation if you’re not Indigenous, Black or PoC.
Blue Moon Tavern, University District, $10-$50 suggested donation
KEXP Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Tune into Seattle’s favorite indie radio station all day long to hear music by local and worldwide indigenous artists. Plus, if you stop by Black Coffee Northwest or The Station, you can pick up free posters from KEXP and Nia Tero’s “Thriving Peoples. Thriving Places.” campaign, which celebrates indigenous women in leadership.
FOOD & DRINK
College Inn Pub Indigenous Peoples’ Day Fundraiser
The newly reopened U District bar will donate a dollar from each Seapine Pilsner and IPA sold this week to Real Rent Duwamish, which benefits Duwamish Tribal Services. They add, “We at the College Inn Pub want to acknowledge that we are on the unceded traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe.”
College Inn Pub, University District
Indigenous People Festival
Share in the wisdom of locally and nationally recognized Indigenous artists and advocates during a four-day schedule of virtual performances and panels covering topics like Indigenous foods and boarding school survivors. Presented by the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) under the umbrella of Festál, the event will culminate with the in-person SpiritWalk & Warrior Run on Saturday, October 16.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15
Refract: Preston Singletary at Singletary’s Studio
During the Refract glass festival, join renowned Northwest glass artist Preston Singletary for a tour of his studio.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17
INDIGENOUS with Purusa
Native American Music Award-winning blues band Indigenous consists of Nakota Nation members who were born and raised on South Dakota’s Yankton Sioux Reservation. They’ve toured with the likes of Santana and B.B. King, and will appear tonight with Portland rock band Purusa.
Nectar, Fremont, $20
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Jasmyne Keimig has written, “Headed up by Tlingit bassist/vocalist (and lauded glass artist) Preston Singletary, Khu.éex’ (pronounced Koo-eex) are a supergroup composed largely of indigenous poets and musicians. Beginning as a chance meeting between Singletary and legendary funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads), Khu.éex’ combine far-out funk and jazz with spoken word and Great Native Northwest storytelling to present a contemporary interpretation of their culture to the world. Most recent EP Héen (‘water’ in Tlingit) deals with the importance of water to indigenous communities across the country.” They’ll headline this showcase of indigenous artists and performers, which will also feature Daisy Chain and Air Jazz.
High Dive, Fremont, $13
Luminosity: Northwest Native Glass Art
Check out the work of three indigenous master glass artists—Preston Singletary, Raven Skyriver, and Dan Friday—at this group show, which also falls during the Refract glass festival. Of Singletary, Jasmyne Keimig has written, “The work of Seattle artist Preston Singletary completely shifted my perception of what glass can look like and, most importantly, what glass can convey. Yes, Singletary is undoubtedly a master of form, color, and shape. He also has an immensely satisfying name. And he has harnessed the medium in a way that points away from the manufacture of cold objects and outward toward nature. His melding of his own Tlingit heritage to the European tradition of glass art brings the practice of glassblowing to an exciting new level.” She’s also written that Tlingit artist “Raven Skyriver’s work is in tune with the rhythm of ecosystems and animal life.” Friday crafts exquisite sculptures based on Lummi material culture, like totem poles and, like one piece in this show is called, “Aunt Fran’s Basket.”
Stonington Gallery, Pioneer Square, free, through Nov 27
Spirit Returns 2.0
This revived exhibit celebrates decades of growth and progress, explores the complex relationship between the Duwamish Tribe and settlers who arrived in the 1850s, and examines history from an indigenous perspective. Spirit Returns 2.0 is “a testimony or swələxʷ (perseverance),” sharing the Duwamish peoples’ way of life on reclaimed land and the return of Chief Seattle’s cedar bark hat. Visitors can also peruse never-before-seen letters from early settler David S. “Doc” Maynard and dig into the personal stories of key members of the Alki Point landing party.
Duwamish Longhouse, North Delridge, free