Southern Resident Orca Recovery Task Force

The plight of the southern resident orca whales drew national attention this July, when an orca calf died within a few hours of birth and was carried by its mother, Tahlequah, for weeks after.  Sadly, southern resident orca pregnancies from 2008-2014 failed at a rate of nearly 70%.  One reason is the severe decline in populations of Chinook salmon, southern resident orcas’ primary food source. Orca numbers are likewise falling: from 98 in the southern Salish Sea in 1995, to only 74 today.  Thanks to advocacy by the Lummi Nation and many others, on March 14, 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee came to Daybreak Star to sign Executive Order 18-02, establishing the Southern Resident Orca Whale Task Force. The Task Force includes representatives from local and state agencies and governments, Tribes, nonprofits, and businesses.  Tribal representatives include UIATF Board Member and Tribal Vice Chairman Bardow Lewis (Suquamish), Chad Bowechop (Makah), Chairman Jay Julius (Lummi), Jeff Dickison (Squaxin Island), Karen Condin (Colville), P. Brent Nichols and B.J. Kieffer (Spokane), Paul McCollum (Port Gamble S’Klallam), Chairman Tom Wooten (Samish), Dave Herrera (Skokomish), Chairman Leonard Forsman (Suquamish), Debra Lekanof (Swinomish), Terry Williams (Tulalip Tribes), and Cecilia Gobin (Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission).

On October 24, the Task Force presented revised draft recommendations to restore the habitat and numbers of our southern resident orca whales.  Their final recommendations will be issued by November 16, with a report on progress and lessons learned to be completed by October 1, 2019.

(Photos: Top- Tahlequah and her calf, National Geographic. Right-Gov. Inslee signs EO 18-02 at Daybreak Star Cultural Center)

Current Recommendations

The goals of the task force are to increase Chinook abundance, decrease the disturbance of orcas from vessels and noise and increase their access to prey, and decrease the exposure of orcas and their prey to contaminants. To address the complicated nature of these problems, and to balance the interests of environmentalists, tribes, and other communities, the task force proposes multiple alternatives toward reaching each goal.  A key plan recommendation is investing in Chinook habitats, particularly in areas where Chinook stocks will most benefit southern resident orcas. By working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and regional salmon recovery organizations, the Governor hopes to increase the amount of salmon available to orcas to help them survive and thrive.

Lower Snake River Dams

While many of the task force proposals have broad community support, some groups oppose consideration of the removal of the Lower Snake River dams. Situated in the southeastern part of the state, the Snake River is one of the major tributaries of the Columbia, and has historically been vital habitat for migrating Chinook salmon. Removing the dam, according to groups such as Dam Sense and the Center for Whale Research, would help grow the Chinook salmon population at the rate necessary to sustain the southern resident orca population. However, power companies and Eastern Washington farmers argue that breaching dams would impair their operations, and support other courses of action such as increasing spills.

Treaty Rights

In addition to serving the vital purposes of improving Chinook habitat and protecting orcas, removing the Lower Snake River dams would also improve the State’s compliance with its duty to honor Tribes’ hunting and fishing rights pursuant to numerous treaties signed in the mid-1850s.  Dwindling salmon populations have eviscerated the original intent and scope of these rights, which are core to Washington tribes’ identity, heritage, and well-being. While breaching the dams will not solve these problems entirely, it would be a step in the right direction.

Where do we go from here?

We’ll keep you posted on developments in our social media, as the final recommendations are published, a course of action planned, and budget allocations sought.

Sacred Circle Gallery Gift Shop Opening at Sea-Tac

United Indians of All Tribes Foundation is excited to announce the opening of our Sacred Circle Gallery Gift Shop at Sea-Tac Airport! The store will open at the end of November, and we will be celebrating Native American Heritage Month with the Port of Seattle to recognize the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States. The Port of Seattle has released a press release on the subject, and check back on our website for more information about the opening dates and celebration!

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Native Women Running for Office in Unprecedented Numbers

During the 2018 mid-term election cycle, more women than ever are seeking offices ranging from city council to the United States Senate, with a record number of over 40 female Native candidates running. Before the votes are counted on November 6, let’s take a look at these historic races:

Peggy Flanagan
Peggy Flanagan (Ojibwe), a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, is running for the Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota. As Minnesota is home to 11 sovereign tribal nations, Ms. Flanagan is running on Native identified issues such as state collaboration with tribes in combating a growing opioid epidemic, and investment in Dakota and Ojibwe language immersion programs.


Sharice Davids

davidsSharice Davids (Ho-Chunk) is running in Kansas’s 3rd Congressional District to unseat Republican Kevin Yoder. Ms. Davids’ professional life has been devoted to promoting opportunity and equity, and she has worked on Indian reservations creating economic development opportunities through programming. She also served as a White House Fellow during the Obama-Trump transition, and speaks regularly at conferences on Native economic development topics. Her campaign in this key race is currently rated as a toss-up, proof of Ms. Davids’s skillful campaigning in a historically Republican stronghold.

Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland (Laguna) is best poised to be the first Native woman in U.S. Congress, running in a heavily haalandDemocratic district in New Mexico. Ms. Haaland has received substantial media attention, including an NPR profile in July. She led the passage of New Mexico’s SB 482, increasing enrolled New Mexico tribal members access to higher education institutions through in-state tuition, regardless of their residency. Haaland also worked to advance Native rights as a member of the State Democratic Party, and was endorsed by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

If candidates Flanagan, Davids, and Haaland are elected, the 2018 mid-term elections could end up propelling Native American women and the issues most important to them to the forefront of national politics. Voting this year is more important than ever, and to help these women and other important candidates in your own district get elected, make sure your voter registration is up to date!

History of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle

In 2014 the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to change the second Monday in October to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  As Councilmember Kshama Sawant told the Seattle Times, “Learning about the history of Columbus and transforming 2015 ipdthis day into a celebration of Indigenous people and a celebration of social justice … allows us to make a connection between this painful history and the ongoing marginalization, discrimination and poverty that Indigenous communities face to this day.” This change in designation resonates all the more in Seattle, which is named after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes and sits amidst the lands of numerous sovereign nations. Before 2014, Native activists gathered annually at Seattle City Hall on the second Monday in October for a rally to demonstrate the critical importance of changing the focus of the day. As Michael Vendiola (Swinomish) said in an interview with filmmaker Dallas Pinkham  (Yakama, Southern Cheyenne, Nez Perce, Grand Ronde, and Potawatomi),“Tribal people were able to come together and think about what could be addressed with renaming that day from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and I think that’s an empowering process, that folks are able to express themselves and have their voices heard, to strengthen the community ties. That whole process was about unifying the community, and also building allies with the non-Native communities.”ipd 2017

United Indians of All Tribes Foundation has been honored to host the Indigenous Peoples’ Day evening celebration at Daybreak Star since 2014. This year we will be honoring two activists, Luana Ross, Ph.D, and Jeri Moomaw, whose work and activism revolve around Indigenous women. We look forward to continuing this yearly celebration and remembering the importance of local activists in the creation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Berkeley, California, was the first U.S. city to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1992, and now four states and over fifty cities have recognized it to show their support for Native communities rather than the colonizers of their lands. Native American communities and allies have protested Columbus Day (first federally recognized in 1937) since its inception, for celebrating an individual who enslaved, sold, and mistreated thousands of Indigenous people in the West Indies after his arrival in 1492. Celebrating and honoring Christopher Columbus not only covered up his actions against Natives, but also solidified the myth of the “discovery of America,” which ignores that people had been living on this land for thousands of years prior to Columbus’s arrival.

Save the date for the 2018 Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration!


Pow Wow Raises $20,000 – Kick Starting 2015 Planning

Fund Seattle’s Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow!  The biggest Seattle PowWow

Gratitude!  We raised $12,000 in Sponsorships, and $8000 in GoFundMe support (, so we met the threshold to host the PowWow.  We are still seeking sponsors!

The Seattle Seafair Indian Days Pow Wow is scheduled for July 17-19th 2015! 

We need Volunteers!  Looking for Committee Chairs for the PowWow committees.  Next Meeting is March 30th at 11am.  Contact Chrissy to RSVP.

This three day event Celebrates Native American Cultures with Singing,  Drumming, and Dance.  It is a coming together and sharing of cultures. The Seattle Seafair Indian Days  Pow Wow is inclusive of all indigenous people, put on by volunteers and staff of The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, for the Seattle community. The event is held on the beautiful grounds of Discovery Park, in Seattle, Washington.  See our Pow Wow website.


Special Fundraising Offer: Andew Morrison Portrait Commission

Andrew Morrison has a generous heart! Commision a Portrait from Andrew Morrison at Daybreak Star to Support ART and the Sacred Circle Gallery.

Donate to our Art program= $500 for a 20x 16, $1000 for a 24×18. “your contribution and support will directly benefit the artistic community that we celebrate here at Daybreak Star”

contact andrew at

Offer good thru April 30th.

See more of Andrew’s work at his Website

Terrance Guardipee Exhibit Opening-Sacred Circle

Opening: Feb 12th 6-9 pm

Exhibit open Feb 12- April 30, 2015

Hours: M-F 8am to 5pm

May Internationally renowned Native American artist Terrance Guardipee’s unique Ledger Artwork  and Catherine Black Horse’s award winning traditional clothing and regalia will anchor the long awaited re-opening of Daybreak Star’s Sacred Circle Gallery.   The Exhibit will also feature works by Guardipee’s daughters, Bree and Victoria.

The Guardipee-BlackHorse family, longtime participants in Daybreak Star programs, will be at the Sacred Circle Gallery, Seattle’s historic Native American art showcase, on February 12 from 6pm to 9pm for the exhibit opening.


Artist Andrew Morrison Hired as Sacred Circle Gallery Manager

United Indians is Re-opening Sacred Circle Gallery and Gift Shop with a grant from Seattle’s Art Means Business Program

United Indians of All Tribes Foundation is excited to announce the hiring of Artist Andrew Morrison as the Gallery and Gift Shop manager for the Sacred Circle Gallery at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Seattle’s Discovery Park.

A Seattle native, Mr. Morrison is a professionally trained artist, with Native American roots. Mr. Morrison was born into both a Native American Haida carving family from Hydaburg, AK and an Apache language speaking family from the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Bylas, AZ. He has studied Northwest Coastal Native American artwork his entire life and has studied Native American symbolism. Mr. Morrison is best known in Seattle for his “Great Murals of Indian Heritage” at Wilson Pacific School. Mr. Morrison will bring his unique vision to Daybreak Star’s Sacred Circle Gallery as Gallery Manager and Curator.

His unique approach will come from his perspective on Native American culture and art. Mr Morrison says, “The Native American culture revolves around the visual artwork that decorates our regalia, longhouses, teepees, entry ways, canoes, personal garments, currency, and spirituality. Visually, the arts give our Native American culture a face. The beadwork, traditional colors, traditional foods, traditional prayers, and traditional artwork of our Native American culture give birth to our modern culture. A rebirth of the Sacred Circle Art Gallery will strive to maintain a fresh presentation, strive to represents Native artists, and treat Native artists with the respect that they, their families, and their tribes deserve.”

The Sacred Circle Gallery at United Indians has been a premier location to showcase traditional and contemporary Native American Art from leading Artists throughout the United States.

This position is funded in part, by a grant from Seattle’s Art Means Business Program.

About Andew Morrison: Mr. Morrison has been professionally trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has a degree in Art from Tufts University. His murals are featured at Wilson Pacific school in Seattle, and his artwork has been featured at the Trickster Gallery in Chicago, Sacred Circle Gallery at Daybreak Star in Seattle, and at the Rhode Island School of Design Gallery.

About United Indians of All Tribes Foundation:
Provide educational, cultural and social services that reconnect indigenous people in the Puget Sound region to their heritage by strengthening their sense of belonging and significance as Native people.

About Art Means Business:
The purpose of Seattle’s Arts Mean Business 2.0 funding opportunity is to create greater equity and inclusiveness in Seattle by funding pivotal arts jobs for arts, cultural and heritage organizations that serve under-represented communities.

Support United Indians- Indiegogo Campaign

We need your help!  Keep our programs going and center open-  Double Your Donation thru 12-15 (up to $2000) matchingifts

Every year, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation brings culturally-enriching activities, and programming that changes lives, to thousands of Native Americans.

Important Programs for United Indians

We help mothers find safety, find foster homes for foster kids, help homeless youth to get skills, get jobs and permanent housing, adults to find jobs and careers, and we revitalize Native cultures and traditions in every community member, infant to Elder. As we enter our 45th year as the heart of Seattle’s urban Indian community, we’re asking you to show us you care. Won’t you make a donation today?…/together-united-we-c…/x/2576312…