Learn our Shared Indigenous History

In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day 2023, we highly recommend Belltowners consider committing to actively learning about our neighborhood’s shared Indigenous history.  As a great starting point, please consider reading some of these great books that have only recently been published on the subject.


NATIVE SEATTLE. HISTORIES FROM THE CROSSING-OVER PLACE. Cole Thrush. 2017.  A MUST READ for learning Seattle’s native past and present. This book takes you into the details the history books don’t tell you. Very enlightening.


Book review of Native Seattle: https://networks.h-net.org/node/22277/reviews/22982/rosenthal-thrush-native-seattle-histories-crossing-over-place

CHIEF SEATTLE AND THE TOWN THAT TOOK HIS NAME: : The Change of Worlds for the Native People and Settlers on Puget Sound. David Buerge. 2017.  We shou ld all know more about the person our city is named after – but until this book was written, there were only fragments.  This book fills in some rich details of the life and times of “Chief Seattle” and our city’s complex history with him and his legacy.


Seattle Times Review of Chief Seattle Book https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/new-biography-of-chief-seattle-is-thorough-insightful-and-at-times-heartbreaking/


RED PAINT:  The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk– Sasha LaPointe 2022. A journey of discovery and self awareness and identity as an indigenous woman – coming of age and adulting amid a complex and perplexing world,  interwoven with the threads of personal, ancestral, and regional histories, traumas, and new found values. A great book to help you gain insight on contemporary indigenous experiences identities, and world views.


LA Review of Books review of Red Paint  https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-missing-on-sasha-lapointes-red-paint-the-ancestral-autobiography-of-a-coast-salish-punk/


THE RIVER THAT MADE SEATTLE. A Human and Natural History of the Duwamish By BJ Cummings. May 2022.  In the PNW, rivers define place. And the Duwamish River has defined Seattle — including its “modern” conversion into a polluted industrial zone.  This wonderful book tells the story of our City’s river, and its native people, and their central place in Seattle and Pacific Northwest history – as well as how indigenous people and others are working to restore the ecological and spiritual values of the river that defines our city.


Related Seattle Times Story https://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/seattle-arose-from-a-tortuously-transformed-duwamish-river/

Screen Shot 2020-08-31 at 4.31.23 PMHOMEWATERS. A Human and Natural History of  Puget Sound. David Williams. 2021.  This great book provides important context to the waters that define our neighborhood, including the ancient and sacred history of Indigenous peoples and the settler-mindset that has changed everything – mostly for the worse. But there’s hope – and this book is a great place to find it!

Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound


ALSO – Check Out this Great NEW Video!

This is a wonderful summary – about an hour long and covers many key points of Seattle’s Indigenous history!