Rachel Ormiston / Burke Museum

Native Culture

Named after the Duwamish chief Sealth, Seattle has deep Native roots dating back 10,000 years. Discover where to celebrate the city’s first peoples and original culture at longhouses, museums, and more.

For a primer on a storied tribe in the Puget Sound region, stop by West Seattle’s Duwamish Longhouse* (4705 W Marginal Way), a traditional cedar post-and-beam structure that serves as a community center and free exhibition space. In Magnolia, Daybreak Star Center (5011 Bernie Whitebear Way) also features Native art and community events—but for all Seattle-area tribes—at Discovery Park. It also hosts the Indian Days Pow Wow (July), when the public is welcome to watch performers from local tribes, partake in a salmon dinner, and browse Native crafts.

Make sure to stop by Eighth Generation* (1406 First Ave), an art and lifestyle brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. Their beautiful wool blankets, accessories, homewares, and more make the perfect keepsake and are one hundred percent Native-designed. And for a modern take on Native cuisine, order eats from Off The Rez, a food truck that dishes up frybread “tacos” slathered in toppings ranging from chicken chili verde to pulled pork. (You’ll also find Off the Rez offering their tasty wares at the Burke Museum cafe.)

Burke Museum* (4300 15th Ave NE), the state’s oldest public museum, reopened in a brand new facility in late 2019. The museum explores the past, present and future of Northwest native peoples.  Set on the University of Washington campus, its collection includes a 37-foot story pole and ancient cedar-bark hats dating back 420 years. Nearby stands the longhouse-style facility włbaltxw — Intellectual House (4249 Whitman Ct), the school’s gathering space for the Native American community.

Finally, see art in action at Lake Union Park near the Center for Wooden Boats* (1010 Valley St). Youths gather here for summer canoe-building workshops to learn millennia-old techniques that transform single logs into artfully decorated hulls.

*Visit Seattle Partner


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