Tag Archives: Indigenous Cultures

Indigenous Voices Across the Americas

by Josie Jensen and Jesús Zamora

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


Indigenous peoples around the world have been fighting to protect their ancestral lands, languages, and cultures from being erased by colonialism for generations.

In Seattle, on the unceded territory of the Duwamish, Suquamish, and Tulalip people, there are countless movements for Indigenous liberation past and present. These range from the fish wars of the 1960s and ’70s to the Duwamish fight for federal recognition to movements such as Idle No More and 350 Tacoma that work to protect Indigenous lands from environmental degradation to movements calling for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women to organizations working to uplift Indigenous artists and preserve Indigenous culture such as the Duwamish Longhouse, Yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective, and more. 

Similar work is being done by Indigenous people around the world. I got to witness these similarities in a recent trip to Ecuador where I participated in a program organized by Amigos de Las Americas centering Indigenous rights and food justice.

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‘Thriving Peoples, Thriving Places’: Pop Art Campaign Honors the Contributions of Indigenous Women to Global Biodiversity

by Nia Tero

(This article originally appeared on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


We are in a critical moment. In the midst of an ongoing global pandemic that is leaving no family untouched, compounded by increasingly extreme weather events linked to climate change, a unique global art project is shining a light on voices essential to the ecological solutions and collective healing we seek: Indigenous women.

“Thriving Peoples, Thriving Places” is a collaboration between two Seattle-based not-for-profit organizations — Indigenous-focused Nia Tero and design lab Amplifier — launching on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which is Aug. 9. The global exhibit includes six original portraits commissioned from Washington, D.C.-based artist and illustrator Tracie Ching. The art will be available digitally as well as at public art events in cities, including Seattle, Washington, D.C., New York City, São Paulo, and London. The project celebrates Indigenous women who have acted as stewards of biodiversity across Earth and prompts action amongst an engaged global audience.

The nine Indigenous women at the center of this project are robust examples of real action we can take to strive for the health and future of the planet. They are from communities spanning the globe, from the Philippines and New Zealand, to the Brazilian Amazon to Scandinavia, to the global north, embodying Indigenous experience while carrying generational knowledge and inherited dedication:

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Seedcast: Re-Indigenizing the Family

by Mariana Harvey

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


(In Ichishskíin) Ínknash waníkxa̱ Mariana Harvey. Washnash Yakama kníck. 

I’m Mariana Harvey. I’m an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. My bands are Klickitat and Sk’in-pah. I am also Táytnapam, Spokane, Choctaw, Swedish, and Black. Culturally, I was raised Yakama in the City of Seattle. Being Yakama and an Urban Native is how I orient myself in the world. 

I am the wild foods and medicines program coordinator for Garden Raised Bounty, or GRuB, in Olympia, Washington. I’m an íła (mother), and I have a beautiful 2-year-old son named Áyut as well as a loving partner named Itsa. We all live together in the lands of the Squaxin Island, Nisqually, and Chehalis peoples, currently known as Olympia, Washington. I am honored to share a little bit about our journey re-Indigenizing our lives through parenthood.

The revolution, as they say, starts at home. When I was pregnant, I started to ask more questions about my grandmothers. What were their lives like? What was motherhood like for them? I’d grown up knowing that my paternal grandmother went to boarding school and that Ichishskíin was her first language. Due to the violence, trauma, and assimilation of boarding school, she did not pass on her first language in our family. It wasn’t until I was on my own motherhood journey that I really sat with these stories, sat with and appreciated the strength of my grandmother for all she went through raising seven children after what she had been through as a child herself. I had a moment where I realized, “These are the traumas we [today’s Indigenous families] are trying to heal from today.”

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Native Communities Seek to Keep the Spirit of the Powwow Alive During the Pandemic

by Alexa Peters


Any Native American powwow performer, artisan, staffer, or organizer will tell you that a powwow — rich with intricately-beaded regalia, the dust of dancing moccasins, and the call and response of traditional songs — is a celebration of life itself; it’s a chance to honor the drum that beats in us all.

While nothing can stop the beat of this drum, the ways of celebration must adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, which disproportionately affects Native Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 23 selected states, the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among American Indian and Alaskan Native people “was 3.5 times that of non-Hispanic whites.”

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Highline Black and Native Speaker Series Provides Opportunities for ‘Rewriting History’

by Jack Russillo


Rose Davis doesn’t get offended when people have misconceptions about her people, the Muckleshoot Tribe, as just the owners of a casino. Instead, she views those instances as opportunities to set the record straight.

“I think that it serves as the perfect way to educate more about who we are and where we come from,” said Davis. “And that way we’re people behind the casino and hopefully people in the U.S. know us as a people more than just as a casino.”

Davis was asked by a student whether she got offended when people asked about her people’s relation to the casino while speaking during her virtual presentation on January 11 as a part of the ongoing Highline Black and Native Speakers Series. She spoke virtually in front of Highline High School students to share her experiences as a mixed heritage Native and Black woman and also as a language teacher and cultural preservationist. Davis currently educates teachers and students about the Muckleshoot dialect Lushootseed at Highline’s Native Education Program.

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Seedcast: On Home and Belonging for Black and Indigenous Peoples

by Inye Wokoma

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


One of my earliest memories is of my grandfather waking up every morning before the sun came up. I was born in 1969 and in my early years, before my mother married my father, we lived with my grandparents. By the time I was maybe 4 or 5, my grandfather had retired. He had served in World War II in the motor pool in the South Pacific, and then, when he came to Seattle, he got a job at the Naval shipyards down on the piers here in the sound, later working with the transportation department until his retirement in the early ’70s. He came from a family of tenant farmers who migrated to the Northwest from the South who were used to working on the land. Their work ethic never left him. 

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Seedcast: Matt Remle on the Capitol Insurrection and What Happens Next

by Jess Ramirez

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


We are living through some of the most historic events in the short history of the United States right now, and there’s a question I can’t shake: how does the reaction of law enforcement to the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, compare to the reaction of law enforcement to Indigenous-led protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline or Standing Rock? We’re spending the first part of 2021 deep in planning for our next set of Seedcast episodes, so here is a separate conversation I had with community steward/organizer and father Matt Remle (Hunkpapa Lakota) about his take on last week’s insurgency, his assessment of the inequalities laid bare, and our hopes and responsibilities in the wake of it. We got to know each other while working on the campaign to get Wells Fargo to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Matt is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and was a local Seattle leader in that campaign.

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Seedcast: Reciprocity

by Taylor Hensel

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


We have always been storytellers. By “we” I mean Cherokee people, and when I say “always” I mean since the beginning of time. Our stories are woven into the very fabric of our being and hold the language, medicine, and values that have sustained our people through genocide, pandemic, and colonization. They remind us of how to be good relatives to all beings and ground us to our place in the world. The stories of our past are just as important today as they were centuries ago. New and old alike, stories are a gift, a way to share and even more so a means of honoring who we are and where we come from. We raise our voices and uplift our people through creating.

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Seedcast: Taholo Kami and Sen. J. Kalani English — a Collective Talanoa

by Romin Lee Johnson

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


We are now in our third month of Indigenous storytelling with this wonderful mixed-media column of personal essay, podcast, poetry, and imagery. This month we want to underscore, through this reflection on episode two of Seedcast, the voices of two charismatic Pasifika leaders who demonstrate the ability to navigate the western world of politics with a deeply rich and culturally nuanced balance of Indigenous-centered policy. 

In the second episode of Seedcast, Nia Tero’s Jessica Ramirez interviews two well-respected elders at the forefront of Indigenous Pacific Islander issues, Taholo Kami of Fiji and Sen. J. Kalani English of Hawai‘i. In this episode, they each reflect on the Pacific Islander tradition of talk story as an act of resilience, identity and public policy, youthful romanticism for the past, and how these island communities have had to adapt in the age of COVID-19.

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Seedcast: Indigenous Filmmaking, Using Technology to Adapt to COVID

by Ben-Alex Dupris

Indigenous peoples and communities have long used stories to understand the world and our place in it. Seedcast is a story-centered podcast by Nia Tero and a special monthly column produced in partnership with the South Seattle Emerald about nurturing and rooting stories of the Indigenous experience.


I recently directed a tribal honoring segment for All In Washington: A Concert For COVID-19 Relief. It was aired live on local television and now lives on Amazon Prime. The celebrity-filled virtual event, which included Coach Pete Carroll, Macklemore, and Pearl Jam, raised 45 million dollars for local organizations struggling desperately to provide support to Washington State residents during coronavirus. It was an exciting opportunity to get paid for creative work in the middle of the pandemic.  

Continue reading Seedcast: Indigenous Filmmaking, Using Technology to Adapt to COVID