Our Town

Evergreen State College

Olympia, Washington



The Squaxin Island Tribe, also known as People of the Water, live in a small, rural community in western Washington with about 400 members. In 2012, the community will host the annual Tribal Canoe Journey, an event that brings together canoe nations of the Pacific Northwest to share their cultures and traditions. Approximately 10,000 members of the public, 90 percent of whom are Native American, are expected to attend the Tribal Canoe Journey in 2012.

Our Town funds will be used to support a series of community art-making residencies to create small- and large-scale public art in preparation for the Tribal Canoe Journey. Skilled carvers, weavers, bead workers, printmakers, and performing artists will teach their art forms to an intergenerational group of emerging artists in the Squaxin community and at the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. The resulting pieces will be publicly exhibited during the event and then loaned to the neighboring cities of Shelton and Olympia to promote awareness about tribal culture and to reaffirm historic ties between the state capital and the Squaxin Island Tribe.