Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Early and continuing story of Native Americans" in our state celebrated and examined in rare exhibit

An exciting, year-long exhibit is coming soon to the Capitol Campus here in Olympia.

State Rep. John McCoy will help unveil and launch "We're Still Here: The Survival of Washington Indians" in a special kick-off program Tuesday afternoon, April 24. The program runs from 5 to 7 that day, and it will be held in the Capitol Rotunda/Legislative Building. The Heritage Center is sponsoring the April 2012-April 2013 exhibit in the Office of the Secretary of State, which is located in the northwest corner of the second floor of the Capitol.

McCoy and his family are members of the Tulalip Tribes of Indians in Snohomish County. The Tulalip Tribes has a tribal population of about 4,000 people, with at least 2,500 members residing on the 22,000-acre Tulalip Indian Reservation. The reservation is a few miles north of Everett -- just across Interstate 5 west of Marysville.

"I'm very eager and excited to see the exhibit and displays myself," McCoy said. "It is certainly a great honor to be part of this whole wonderful program. The very worthy dedication of the program is helping folks in every community acquire a better handle and perspective on what's been happening for many millennia in this great place that, today, we call Washington.

"It is so wonderful for more and more people, very much including we Native Americans ourselves, to see and understand what men and women and their families have been doing here for thousands of years."

The "We're still here" website says that the exhibit "acknowledges the early and continuing story of Native Americans in four major themes: the relationship with earth and the struggle over land, assimilation practices and the conflict over Native identity, the century-long battle for treaty fishing rights, and the cultural revival of Indian customs and language in our world today. "

Further, the website points out: "Although the building is not yet constructed, the Heritage Center is alive and active through exhibits in the Legislative Building and elsewhere, the publication of oral histories and biographies by the Legacy Project, author talks with the State Library, family genealogy workshops with the State Archives and State Library, and a vibrant website with many historical resources accessible in one location."

To read this post in Spanish, click here.