Decolonizing Ecological Restoration: A Partnership Between Tribes and City Parks

Mobile Workshop

This mobile workshop takes participants on a walking tour to explore the cultural history amidst the abundant forests, wetlands, and ponds of Daybreak Star. Founded in 1970, the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation provides an extensive array of culturally responsive services and programming to Seattle and King County’s urban Native community. Completed in 1977, Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Seattle’s largest park, Discovery Park, has become a hub of activity for Native peoples and their supporters. 

More recently, United Indians’ sister organization, Na’ah Illahee Fund, invited a women-led permaculture cohort to begin restoration planning and then initiated an Indigenous Council to guide restorations, community events, and skills development while continuing to build a healthy home for plant relatives. Supported by Seattle Parks and Recreation, Green Seattle Partnership promotes the decolonization of ecological restoration practices, community programs for youth, major maintenance of a constructed pond, and care for a landscape that provides food, medicine, and fiber. Also featured are Indigenous-led restoration efforts, wetland ecology, and urban forest restoration.

Please note: The tour involves walking up to 2 miles. Portions of the walk may be muddy near the ponds.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Identity culturally important plants, foods, and ecosystems in the context of Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and how this system is nurtured by Indigenous-led groups.
  • Outline roles for an agency following the lead of community-powered food sovereignty and ecosystem restoration projects.
  • Discuss ideas about how to create tending, gathering, and teaching spaces.
  • Discuss the intricate relationship between cultural history and ecological landscapes, Identifying how to integrate cultural programming with the preservation and restoration of natural spaces, including wetlands, ponds, and urban forests.