Native American Heritage Month 2021

During November 2021, Native American Heritage Month,  a variety of suggestions, opportunities for participation, and things to read related to Native American Heritage Month were posted on our Confront Racism/Inequity page.  Click here to see the current content of that page.  Read more below to see what was posted during November 2021.  



Vi Hilbert


Vi taRSeblu Hilbert
Photo courtesy of Jill La Pointe

Vi taRSeblu Hilbert (1918-2008) was a member and noted elder of the Upper Skagit tribe.  Her first language was Lushootseed, a Coast Salish language found in the Puget Sound region of western Washington state.  During her long and productive life, Vi Hilbert played a major role in the revitalization of the language and culture of the First People of the Pacific Northwest.  She became known as a teacher, storyteller, publisher, and public speaker.  For over 40 years she built and maintained a research archive of cultural materials.  Working with other scholars, she developed and published teaching materials and volumes of stories through Lushootseed Research, an organization which she founded.  Her commitment to preserving Lushootseed language and literature is largely responsible for the renaissance of interest in Lushootseed culture and the growth of tribal language programs all over western Washington.

Voices of the First People includes a selection of recordings made between 1968 and 2008.  We’ve organized them into 6 categories that highlight aspects of Vi Hilbert’s life and work, focusing on her commitment to the preservation, documentation, and revitalization of Lushootseed language and lifeways.  Click here.




Rena Priest is a Poet and an enrolled member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation. She has been appointed to serve as the Washington State Poet Laureate for the term of April 2021-2023.  Check out her website here.


Governor Jay Inslee made a historic appointment of a Tribal Chair to a college board by naming Kristopher Peters, Chair of the Squaxin Island
Tribe, to The Evergreen State College Board of Trustees.
Read the notice from TESC related to this appointment by clicking here.                             

 NASA is taking the opportunity to highlight its indigenous scientists, engineers and more.

NASA's first indigenous trailblazers include Mary G. Ross, a "hidden figure" mathematician and engineer and member of the Cherokee Nation whose cutting edge work including work on NASA's Planetary Flight Handbook and work on early designs for flights to Mars and Venus, and John Bennet Herrington, a NASA astronaut and member of the Chickasaw Nation who, in 2002, became the first member of a Native American tribe to fly to space. 

Today, the agency's Native American employees are reaching for the stars and expanding our understanding of the universe around us through groundbreaking science and innovation. 

Related: NASA and Navajo Nation Partner in Understanding the Universe


Did you know that Maria Tallchief was one of the most accomplished dancers of the twentieth century, and was the first Native American woman to hold the rank of prima
ballerina? Learn more about her in a Nation Women's History Museum online exhibit!

Click Here

Photo credit: Maria Tallchief enpointe (1961) by Chicago Tribune.



Do you know about Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American to earn a medical degree? For National Native American Heritage Month, read about her and more barrier-breaking Native women in our online database of historical figures in STEM. READ MORE


Can't think of a better place to look for books and such on this and a host of other topics.  Celebrate Native American Heritage Month this November by enjoying curated selections found at and browsing the OverDrive collection.

Timberland Regional Library (TRL) recognizes that we operate within the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people and Chinook people who have been the stewards of these lands since time immemorial. TRL provides library services to Indian tribes, extending beyond the geographic limits of Lewis, Mason, Thurston, Pacific, and Grays Harbor Counties. This acknowledgement reminds us to strive for respectful partnerships with all people, as we search for collective healing and learn how to be better stewards of the indigenous lands we inhabit.

Our local PSB station, Channel 9, will be presenting a host of programs honoring Native American History, beginning with: The Rising

Climate change is quickly altering the shape of the Northwest — its ecosystems, coastline and a way of life for several tribes on the Pacific Coast. Facing declining fish stocks and an ocean in revolt, they are now confronting the unthinkable: moving from the place they’ve inhabited since ‘time immemorial,’ or staying behind to weather the storm in the canoes of their ancestors.  Watch now.




On Native Land: Landscapes from the Haub Family Collection opens November 6.
On Native Land: Landscapes in the Haub Family Collection will feature 14 landscapes paired with land acknowledgments to recognize more than 75 Native American communities whose homelands are pictured in the paintings. View artworks from notable places across the country and explore the cultural history of these special places. 

13th Annual
Native American Art Exhibition

November 8th – December 10th, 2021
Opening reception: Friday, November 12 (6:00 – 7:30 pm)

The Leonor R. Fuller gallery is honored to present a themed exhibition, curated by Philip Red Eagle, which engages viewers and the community celebrating the art and culture of our Native community members. The exhibition will highlight work by Native artists, from local and regional tribes, and Native artists from other locations who now live in the area.

Image text: “Nespelum II, Crazy Horse”, Robert Charloe, digital photograph
Sponsored in part by the Nisqually Indian Tribe

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