The official blog of the Suquamish Foundation.

Suquamish Foundation Announces Date for Time to Gather

Please join us at the beautiful Kiana Lodge on Agate Passage for a springtime evening rich with friendship, fun, great food, music and entertainment and our exciting, signature auction event on Friday, March 30, 2018. Our auction features original traditional and contemporary Native art as well as our unique cultural experience items such as a local archaeology tour, an indigenous food cooking class or a canoe voyage around Agate Passage.

Our inspiration this year is the Blue Jay Saves the Sun. This Suquamish story signifies the audacity, altruism and courage of an individual whose passion is to cultivate and benefit the place and people of his beloved home. To dedicate, with heartfelt determination, and even an element of playfulness, the will to surmount all obstacles to bring light and prosperity to the home and community that you revere and love.

It is in this spirit that we joyfully focus our fund-raising efforts this year on the building of a community playground and cultural park based on Suquamish stories and legends in the Suquamish Shores area. As this land is being returned to Suquamish ownership this Spring, it is our commitment to transform it into a place that reflects the health, beauty, traditions and community spirit of our treasured homeland.  A place for families that can enrich everyone.

Thanks to the generosity of those who participated in our annual event in the past and are involved this year, we are able to continue to strengthen the cultural resurgence of the Suquamish Tribal community as well as the friendships of our fellow non-profits, neighbors, and visitors. We will journey into the future by honoring the past and we guarantee a payback of a brighter future to share.

The Suquamish Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Suquamish Tribe, created in 2005, and dedicated to supporting the culture, education, environment, health and vitality of the Tribal community and its’ neighbors.  We completed the inspiring Building for Cultural Resurgence capital campaign that built our Suquamish Museum, Community House, Early Learning Center, Veteran’s Memorial, Health and Fitness Center, Community Ball Field and Community Dock. And we award over $300,000 annually to schools and non-profit organizations that serve Kitsap County.

To purchase tickets to our annual fundraising event, visit the foundation online by clicking here or contact Margeaux Lewis at or by phone at (360)394-8453. Tickets go on sale by February 1, 2018.

Holiday Tree Lighting

What brings us together as a community?  Sharing the fun and festivities of the holidays?  Sharing our love of children and family?  Sharing our love of traditions? Sharing a reason to celebrate hope and joy with music?

All these things merged and created a beautiful sense of community in the first Suquamish Community Holiday Tree Lighting on December 7th at the House of Awakened Culture as over 400 community attendees celebrated the start of the Christmas season together.  The Suquamish Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Suquamish Tribe, hosted the event as a way to thank the community for its generosity and build a new tradition we can share as a community. The beautifully decorated House had over 1,000 sparkling lights that joined with the clear winter night’s sky full of stars.  Indoors, there was a hot coffee bar with cookies, candy canes and marshmallows for everyone.  A Christmas concert was presented by the Kids in Concert, an organization that includes and trains children of all ages that want to learn to play an instrument in a performing orchestra.  Outdoors, the brightly lit Argosy Cruise Christmas Ship kept a date to come close to the shore to serenade us with carols from the water.  At the same time, Suquamish Tribal Chairman, Leonard Forsman, led the countdown to lighting up the tall cedar trees outside the House of Awakened Culture.  A wonderful cheer rose up from the delighted crowd surrounding the luminous trees and viewing the waterfront reflections. 

One of the community attendees made a most memorable remark.  She said when the tree was lit and the cheer went up, she turned around and looked at the shining, laughing faces of all the children there with their families and she realized that this was the beginning of a new tradition that these children would remember all their lives and return to with their own children year after year.

In the faces of these children, we could see that they did believe, unwaveringly, in hope and joy.  And beyond that, that they also believe in us, their families, their community, to continue to share our commitment to each other to help, protect and celebrate the health and vibrancy of this precious place we call home.

Wrapped in Resilience 2017

In 2005, the Cultural Resurgence Campaign focused on bringing the Suquamish Tribe’s ancestral culture, values and spirituality to the forefront of community life—recognizing their relevance in the present, reawakening Tribal pride in its members, and sharing the Tribe’s history and culture with the greater Suquamish community in Kitsap County.

The inaugural Sovereign Style: Ribbons of Resilience event in October 2016 showcased the artistry of shirts, dresses, and children’s clothes adorned with beautiful ribbons and modelled by Suquamish Tribal members.  Hosted by the Suquamish Foundation, it was the beginning of the Suquamish Sovereign Style campaign celebrating artistry, resilience and generosity.

Ribbon shirts and dresses represent many aspects of indigenous history since contact—assimilation, creativity, prayer, ingenuity, tradition, strength, protection, style, and rebellion.  Ribbons were used not only to adorn plain clothing, but to show status, family ties, and preservation of cultural values.  As all cultural activities were outlawed by the U.S. government, ribbon clothing signified a covert resistance to assimilation.

The second event was held again in October 2017 with the theme of “Wrapped in Resilience.” This fashion happening called for shawls, blankets and vests to be exhibited by Suquamish high school student models. Shawls, blankets and vest have been a traditional showcase for Native artistry while serving the practical purpose of keeping a person warm. The exquisite pieces on display ranged from an original woven cedar vest to breathtaking colorful shawls depicting revered Salish characters.  The designs incorporated Native artistry representing traditional craftsmanship and dedication to preserving long-honed skills in a celebration of beautiful garments.

Telling our story through style.  That is the tradition that the Suquamish Foundation Sovereign Style campaign seeks to uphold for the Tribe and the broader, shared community.  It represents the style in which we gift grants, education, and love.  It also represents the need to seek support to further our goal to build resilience for our children and generations to come.

As we reclaim our homeland, we celebrate with pride the ceremonial style that has been an outward sign of our creativity, spirit, prayers, strength, protection and preservation of cultural values, relationships to homeland, and the natural world. By this practice, we enable these traditions and practices to continue on with future generations.

The Suquamish Foundation’s mission is to build on our ancestral vision to enhance the culture, education, environment, and physical well-being of the Tribe and the greater community. It works best when we all are involved as a community of Givers. Sovereign Style allows all of us ways to give with our hands, our heads and our hearts.

The Sovereign Style event in 2018 has been set for October 19th. We hope you join us this year! For more images of the 2017 event, click here.

New Suquamish Museum Exhibit- We Are The Ancestors

On September 16, 2017 the Suquamish Museum will unveil their newest exhibit We Are The Ancestors – Photography: Through the Eyes of Suquamish. The exhibit features photographs taken by Suquamish Tribal Members of contemporary life on the Port Madison Indian Reservation.

Suquamish Museum Curator, Lydia Sigo (Suquamish), and community curator, Heather Purser (Suquamish), invited Suquamish Tribal members to submit photographs for the exhibit, giving them the opportunity to tell their own stories through images. Originally proposed by Purser, the exhibit was additionally appealing Sigo as a way to continue adding images to the extensive photograph collection documenting contemporary Suquamish families begun with the Museum’s founding Oral History program in the 1970s.

The photographs will be displayed in the Museum’s smaller gallery through March 11, 2018.  The Museum is open to the public daily from 10 am to 5 pm (excluding Holidays).  Visit the Suquamish Museum online for more information or contact them at (360) 394-8499 or @SuquamishMuseum on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About the Suquamish Museum
The Suquamish Tribal Council chartered the Suquamish Museum in 1993 to collect preserve, study, exhibit and teach the living culture and history of the Suquamish Tribe and its Salish neighbors.  Located in the heart of Suquamish Village, the permanent exhibit Ancient Shores ~ Changing Tides chronicles the Tribe’s presence since time immemorial.

Suquamish Foundation’s Time To Gather Raises 50K

A silent auction table at the Time to Gather event, held on Friday, March 24 at Kiana Lodge.

The Suquamish Foundation held its annual “A Time to Gather” fundraising event Friday, March 24, at Kiana Lodge. The sold-out crowd of enthusiastic bidders helped the Foundation reach its $50,000 fundraising goal, the proceeds targeted for a planned playground, the Suquamish Museum, and benefiting programs from the broader community.
Guests were welcomed by Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman and Foundation Manager, Angela Flemming who presented a brief history of the event, its purpose and importance to the Suquamish Tribe. Happy attendees enjoyed a delicious meal of either cedar-wrapped salmon, apricot chicken or braised eggplant, all prepared by the experienced staff at Kiana Lodge.
Standout live auction items included a traditional medicinal herbs gathering excursion with Noel Purser-Rosario, a Port Madison Indian Reservation tour led by Tribal Chairman, Leonard Forsman, two limited edition serigraphs by Preston Singletary, a 3 day-2 night Alaska Fishing Adventure, and an original brush and ink painting of the Traveling Coyote by Emma Noyes. Bidding was spirited and exceeded the valued price for the benefit of the Suquamish Foundation.

Lawrence To Perform at Time to Gather

Suquamish vocalist Calina Lawrence to be featured performer at Suquamish Foundation’s popular spring event.

Vocal artist and activist Calina Lawrence (Suquamish).

Vocal artist and activist Calina Lawrence will be performing at the annual Time to Gather event this year. A member of the Suquamish Tribe, Calina Lawrence was born and raised within her Indigenous culture in the Northwest area of Washington State. Her vocal journey began at a young age when she was first introduced to her cultural music. Lending her voice to the preservation of Suquamish traditions, she also grew to love singing many modern genres. She was raised knowing the importance of spreading awareness about the social injustices that have impacted the quality of lives on tribal reservations and within urban Native communities. Her involvement in her cultural music has led her in activism in the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland. Lawrence recently graduated with Honors from the University of San Francisco, attaining her BA in Performing Arts & Social Justice; a Music concentration. She has spent recent time traveling the country in advocacy for Native Treaty Rights and the “Mni Wiconi” (Water is Life) movement lead by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. She dedicates her artistry and energy to POC racial injustice, police brutality, mass-incarceration, gentrification, misrepresentation of Native Americans in education/mainstream United States media, climate injustice, blood quantum and enrollment issues, foster youth, suicide prevention, and many other causes. Since graduation, she has released her debut Single entitled “Alcatraz” January ‘17 and will be releasing her first album later in the year.

A Time to Gather is an annual fundraiser that includes live performances, dinner and an art auction with proceeds benefiting the Suquamish Foundation. This year, the event will be held at Kiana Lodge on Friday, March 24, 2017. Tickets for the event are available online for a limited time.

Suquamish Foundation Announces A Time to Gather

The New Year is here. What does it hold for us? Times may feel uncertain.  And yet, one thing is absolutely certain; for those who treasure the sacred, priceless beauty of the cultural, historic and environmental values of the Puget Sound, it will be a year of true celebration and accomplishment.  It is truly a year to honor that, to share that, and, yes, to thoroughly enjoy that at a party!  Let us joyfully celebrate together at the Suquamish Foundation’s 2017 “A Time To Gather” community event on March 24th.  This will once again be held at Kiana Lodge, one of the most beautiful seaside venues in Washington State.

It has now been 12 years, since the Suquamish Tribe chartered its’ non-profit organization, the Suquamish Foundation.  The Foundation invited a wealth of enthusiastic partners and supporters to raise $20 million dollars to launch an incredibly successful “Building for Cultural Resurgence Capital Campaign “. Together we realized a vision for a renovated downtown Suquamish with a beautiful new Museum, Community House,  Community Dock, new Early Learning Center and a brighter  future.

This work goes on!  It is exciting to see such positive change in a few short years, to recognize the generosity of so many contributors and come together to support and celebrate our on-going work and mutual benefits.  The Suquamish Foundation will now focus on a new Community Playground, a vigorous fight against drug and alcohol addiction, and enhancing the cultural collections at the Suquamish Museum.

At A Time To Gather, March 24th from 6 to 9 p.m., we will be providing dinner and cocktails, an amazing cultural performance and a brilliant art auction of original pieces as well as auctioning unique cultural experiences such as a voyage in one of the Tribal canoes.  Please join us for this vibrant event and revel in our successes and support our brighter future.  We will wrap you in a metaphorical blanket of honor, love and solidarity. To purchase tickets, click here! To see photos from last year’s event, click here.

Ribbons of Resilience

Suquamish Foundation thanks community for support, pledges to host another fashion showcase next year.

Suquamish Tribal Council Member Sammy Mabe was one of several elected officials to showcase ribbon apparel at the event.

by Angela Flemming

We want to thank all of you who joined us for the Suquamish Foundation’s inaugural Ribbons of Resilience fashion show at the Whitehorse Golf Course Ballroom on October 21st. This fun evening event celebrated Tribal history and traditions as well as the individual creativity and artistry of our community members. At the same time, it raised donations for and awareness of the Suquamish Foundation, which has supported programs and projects that benefit the Suquamish community since its’ inception in 2005.
An illuminated catwalk and a live deejay’s music mix featured the stylish modeling of male and female community members of all ages, as well as the full complement of the Suquamish Tribal Council, including Chairman, Leonard Forsman, and many of the very youngest and most adorable members of the Suquamish Tribe. Robin Sigo, Treasurer of the Suquamish Tribal Council and Director of the Suquamish Foundation, the non-profit branch of the Suquamish Tribal Government, emceed the event with obvious enjoyment, story-telling, infectious humor and pride. Each of the beautiful and original ribbon shirts, garments and baby outfits told an individual story through its colors, patterns and ribbons. Each, indeed, were wearable art pieces.
Ribbons for Resilience showcased beautiful ribbon shirt and dresses from many community members and families, including original multi-piece collections by E’thayta’ ae (LynDee Wells) and Xoputsee (Alaina Capoeman). Styles included traditional stars and salmon motifs, as well as contemporary Seahawks and Star Wars designs. One of the most hauntingly beautiful garments was a ledger art shirt, worn by Chairman Forsman, with an illustrated tribute to upholding sovereignty rights guaranteed in the treaty.
Our nearly 150-person audience engaged with the energy of the models and artistry of the garments with such enthusiasm and charitable generosity that we have already started planning for next year’s event. The Ribbons of Resilience event was joyful and beautiful. Again, we thank you for your attendance and for collaborating with us in continuing to support a diverse and cohesive community working together for positive change.

To see additional photos, please visit our online gallery at  To donate or to order a # Sovereign Style shirt, please call Margeaux Lewis at (360) 394-8453.