Indigenous Reparation and Recognition in Seattle
When we’re out at public speaking venues in Seattle these days-- if we’re out in public at all —we’re likely to hear some version of this statement:
“We acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the Coast Salish people, including the Duwamish People past and present.”
It has become de rigueur for organizations to make such acknowledgements, but they are just words. They seek to honor the people who lived here before us, people who live here still, but is that enough?
This past January, reporter Marcus Harrison Green wrote an article titled “Does a Wealthy City Owe Its First Residents Reparations?” This panel discussion addresses that question and explores ways we might better recognize the legacy and current reality of the people we displaced.
Bitterroot Magazine managing editor Maggie Mertens moderated the conversation, which included the following participants:
- Russell Brooks (Southern Cheyenne): Executive director of Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre in Seattle.
- Marcus Harrison Green: Publisher of the South Seattle Emerald.
- Rachel Heaton (Muckleshoot): Co-founder of Mazaska Talks, a tool that supports community divestment from banks that finance fossil fuel development.
- Fern Renville (Dakota): CEO of SNAG Productions.
- Robin Little Wing Sigo: Director of the Suquamish Research & Strategic Development Department and a member of the Suquamish Tribal Council.
Town Hall Seattle, the South Seattle Emerald and Bitterroot presented this discussion at Town Hall on January 22.