Building Community

Highlighting our community members and relationships in and outside of the city of Seattle

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Duwamish Hill Preserve

How the Puget Salish Cultural Garden at the Duwamish Hill Preserve in Tukwila is helping preserve Native traditions and history.

Duwamish Hill Preserve

The Duwamish Hill Preserve is a 10.5 acre parcel of historical, cultural and ecological significance in Tukwila. Thanks to the actions of many partners including the Friends of the Hill, Forterra and the City of Tukwila, the property was purchased in 2004 and has been in active restoration ever since. The Duwamish Hill Preserve serves as an outdoor classroom, an active space for informal recreation, a culturally significant location for Puget Sound Salish people and an example of a successful partnership between community members and public and private partners.

The sketch for the etched benchback: “Epic of the Winds,” a traditional Puget Sound Story, side by side with the finished bench at the Duwamish Hill Preserve. Illustration by Mette Hanson, in consultation with Mary Lou Slaughter (Duwamish), featuring her cattail basket.

The sketch for the etched benchback: “Epic of the Winds,” a traditional Puget Sound Story, side by side with the finished bench at the Duwamish Hill Preserve. Illustration by Mette Hanson, in consultation with Mary Lou Slaughter (Duwamish), featuring her cattail basket.


Puget Sound Salish Cultural Garden

The Cultural Garden at the base of the hill features restored habitats with native plants important to the Puget Sound Salish people.  As the Garden becomes established, Preserve stewards intend to work with tribal and community partners to offer opportunities for sustainable harvesting of traditional foods and basket-making materials.

The cultural and natural history of the Preserve is presented through etched bench backs on the Hill and illustrated signs throughout the Cultural Garden created by local artist, Mette Hanson, in consultation with local tribe members. A focal point for the Garden is the “Journey Through the Seasonal Rounds” installation on the northwest side of Hill. This large granite etching highlights traditional uses of native plants by the Puget Sound Salish people and serves as a gathering place for classes and storytelling. A Duwamish basket design is featured at the center and encircles the piece.

For more information on local artist Mette Hanson, visit
For more information on the Duwamish Hill Preserve and the cultural garden, visit


Birds of the Duwamish River Valley, June 1, 2019

As part of our continued collaboration with the Seattle Parks Department, Naturalist Elaine Chuang ran a free program educating visitors on our native birds of the Duwamish River Valley. The event drew in visitors from all over the city for an educational talk and several birding outings by the river. Check our events page for more exciting events with Seattle Parks!

Walking Native Land

National trails day 2019

Ken Workman, a descendant of Chief Seattle, led a hike hosted by the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails Group in celebration of National Trails Day 2019. On his walk Ken shared his personal experience and the Duwamish experience of the land on Puget Ridge above the Duwamish River.  The hike began at the Chinese Garden at South Seattle College, 6000 16th Ave. S.W., then went down the ridge to the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center on W. Marginal Way.


The Duwamish Tribe at the 48th annual Northwest Folklife Festival

The Duwamish Tribe was invited to host the Circle of Indigenous Peoples Celebration at the 48th annual Northwest Folklife Festival in May 2019. We are honored to have hosted Indigenous peoples from all over the United States and share our history with the people of Seattle. Our raven canoe was on display at the festival and our chairwoman Cecile Hansen gave the opening welcome to the entire festival with Folklife Artistic Director Kelli Faryar. We are excited to continue our work with Northwest Folklife for years to come.

For more information on Northwest Folklife, visit

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Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association and the Duwamish Tribe Showcases a Longhouse in France

A Longhouse in Nantes

Every five years, the beautiful city of Nantes hosts Floralies Internationales, the largest flower and garden show in France and the second largest in Europe. Held over 12 days, the show attracts nearly 500,000 visitors from all over the world.

Connecting Seattle to Nantes for almost 40 years, the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association has been selected to represent Seattle and the US in May 2019.

We are thrilled to partner with the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association as they promote the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and this years theme: “A Longhouse in Nantes”. The project will present a garden reminiscent of a Coast Salish longhouse on the edge of the temperate rainforest. Representatives from the Duwamish Tribe will be working with volunteers and hosts in Nantes to promote educational and cultural relations between Seattle and Nantes.


Duwamish Longhouse Staff Visits France

Duwamish Longhouse Staff Visits the Floralies International Festival in Nantes, France, with the Seattle-Nantes sister city association, May 2019. This picture shows members of the longhouse and the Sister-City Association with Christelle Morançais, Présidente du conseil régional des Pays de la Loire.

Above images from the opening ceremonies of the Floralies Internationales in Nantes.

la fête de la victoire, le jour de la libération

While in Nantes, our Duwamish representatives were invited to the ceremony celebrating the official end of World War II in France along with the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association and members of the US consulate.


Conflict and Compromise, A Story is Told

Meet Hailey, 7th in the Nation at National History Day National Competition in Washington DC! As a local 8th grader, Hailey has a heart-felt desire for the history of the northwest region to be told as it really happened.

After getting second in the Washington State National History Day Competition, Hailey qualified to go to Washington DC to represent Washington State in the national competition. Hailey brought an authentic cedar hat to DC for her exhibit. She was showing the importance of the native presence and culture when the settlers arrived.

She focused on the specific arrival of Catherine Blaine and her husband Rev. David Blaine as they arrived to what is now Seattle. The Blaine’s interacted with the Duwamish people.

Catherine Blaine was the first ever school teacher in what is now Seattle. The Blaine’s letters from the 1850’s are preserved in the University of Washington archives. Being ranked 7th in the Nation by the judges was a testimony to this valuable history. Hailey was honored to represent the Duwamish telling these settlers story in our Nation’s Capital!


10th Anniversary Celebration

2019 marks the ten year anniversary of the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center. Join us in our tenth year as we continue to celebrate the building of our cultural center and our community.

Picture: CARW Solidarity Group honoring


A Trip to Our Sister City of Perugia

Chairwoman Cecile Hansen and Executive Director Jolene Haas visited Perugia in 2018 for the anniversaries of the sister city association and the Sister Orca sculpture to meet with government officials and community members to strengthen the relationship between our two cities and to share with them more about our Duwamish culture and history.

The Seattle-Perugia Sister City Association (SPSCA) celebrates and supports the relationship between Seattle and Perugia, Italy. Perugia is the governmental, cultural and economic capital of Umbria. It is located in central Italy between Tuscany and Rome.

“Sister Orca” is a dramatic and striking sculpture in Perugia, Italy created by well-known Native artist, Marvin Oliver, Quinault. The sculpture is a 30ft Orca fin cast in bronze and featuring Native American symbols. The sculpture stands as a symbol of two ancient cultures and modern friendship that Seattle and the Northwest share with Perugia and Umbria.

Picture: Cecile Hansen and City of Perugia Deputy Mayor Teresa Severini

Visitors from Bulgan Province of Mongolia


David Buerge Book Signing at the Longhouse

Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name: The Change of Worlds for the Native People and Settlers on Puget Sound

This is the first thorough historical account of Chief Seattle and his times--the story of a half-century of tremendous flux, turmoil, and violence, during which a native American war leader became an advocate for peace and strove to create a successful hybrid racial community .

While many books on the subject have been written, David Buerge’s extensive research over three decades document in greater detail on the life of Chief Seattle and his people.

The Story of the Duwamish
Told in Nicaragua

We are very honored to accept these three photos taken by Paul S. Henriksen, Director of Camp Nor'wester in Nicaragua at the childrens’ learning center in Managua. It is a very touching tribute to the wisdom of Chief Seattle that his words are reflected and known in many other cultures and places all over the world. These hand painted signs were made by an unknown student or artist and were seen at the learning center.

The signs read as follows:

I: “In the state of Washington, in the Northwest US, is a country (or nation) of the Duwamish.  It is a group that-like all the Indians- was considered a part of Nature.  They respected and venerated her and for many generations lived in harmony wit her.

 II : a quote “The rocky heights, the smooth meadows, the ardent body of the colt and man, they all belong to the same family”  Chief Seattle. Jeff means Chief or leader.

 III :  “My words are like the stars, they are never extinguished” the great Leader Seattle said.  His town has not survived, his words were not listened to.  Are we listening now?  Will we survive?