A powerful, four-part art exhibit is coming to the Office of the Secretary of State in Washington State—We’re Still Here. The Survival of Washington Indians. A press release from Secretary of State Sam Reed details the opening of the exhibit, Tuesday, April 24.
The privately funded exhibit was created by the Washington State Heritage Center, which is part of the Office of Secretary of State. The exhibit will be free, open to the public in the Capitol Rotunda from 5-7 p.m.
Govenor Chris Gregoire, Secretary of State Sam Reed, state Representative John McCoy, and Nisqually tribal leader Billy Frank Jr. are among those speaking at the unveiling event. Performances from the Chehalis Canoe Family and Chief Leschi Schools Drum and Dance Group will round out this special day.
“Washington’s history begins thousands of years ago,” Reed said in the release. “Long before we became a territory, this land was home to Indian tribes – and their stories are fascinating. Native voices reveal a challenging and inspiring history long overdue at the Capitol Building.
On the Washington State Heritage Center’s site, the exhibit is described as acknowledging “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.”
The exhibit includes displays of rare images and colorful artifacts that tell compelling and personal stories. Artifacts include rare baskets, tools, feather hats, ceremonial colorful clothing and drums.
To join the opening ceremony of the exhibit, RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org