Native canoe carving center to be built in South Lake Union neighborhood
Celebrations were held in Seattle Friday as a decades-long effort to create a Northwest Native Canoe Carving and Welcome Center was officially recognized.
The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation held a blessing at the Center for Wooden Boats at South Lake Union, which is just yards away from where the new native canoe center will be built.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and others said the new center represents a huge achievement after overcoming years of financial and cultural obstacles.
“We’re moving beyond token acknowledgments and putting our real dollars at work, and we’re building a foundation by which the native story will be told by natives,” said Harrell.
In addition to a carving space, the center will have space for cultural events, a catering kitchen and a gift shop, according to the San Juan Islander.
The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation credits the late native activist Bernie Whitebear for the drive behind the center that began around 1970.
Construction is set to begin this fall.