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Report Cover

Together We Can Lift Up the Sky

In June 2014, the United Way of King County published the report “A Vision for the Urban Indian Community: Assessment of Assets and Opportunities of the King County Urban Indian Population.” It was developed through community meetings in three areas of Seattle-King County, using a progressive model of community planning and multiple interviews with local American Indian and Alaska Native people. It includes previously unpublished research from the Seattle school district and the Seattle Housing Authority.

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Image of totem pole
A Snohomish story best illustrates the findings:
Long ago, the people of Puget Sound solved the challenge of a sky that rested too low upon them, so low they couldn’t stand up straight. Many different tribes consulted their elders. They worked together, using long poles, until they pushed the sky up to where it is today. Their burden was lifted. They were happy. Working together, they could do anything—even lift up the sky.
The Seattle-King County urban Indian community boasts a wide range of talented Native Artists. Native language and Native art adorn public places all over the county – like Apache/Haida artist Andrew Morrison’s mural of Chief Sealth and other famous American Indian leaders (shown to the right). The report shows the level of support in Seattle for the living traditions of AI/AN dancing, singing, carving, painting, beading, and weaving that so powerfully unite the community—in times of struggle and of celebration.
Photo of mural
Photo of meeting
Sharing Ideas at the
Community Meeting
“Opportunities will come from the commitment to go forward as a community. If a common goal can be shared, it can be a large asset to Seattle’s American Indian and Alaska Native community.”
Photo of canoe