Native peoples from tribes across the country gather to celebrate their unique cultures and traditions at Seattle Center Festál: Spirit of Indigenous People. All are invited to attend and partake in activities on Saturday, June 9 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Seattle Center Armory and Mural Amphitheatre Stage.
This year, Rona Yellow Robe, singer/songwriter and two-time Native American Music Award (NAMA) winner for Native Flute Player of the Year, performs live along with Cody Blackbird Band, the 2017 NAMA winner for Group of the Year. Performing over 1,500 shows, Cody Blackbird Band fuses traditional Native American flute music with blues, heartland rock and multicultural jam-band sounds. Rounding out the line-up, Daisy Chain Band performs a blend of musical styles from rock, blues, funk, hip hop and reggae.
In addition to the superstar musical line-up, live art demonstrations take place on Mural Amphitheatre stage with the Lummi Youth Canoe Group. Enjoy and shop at the Native Art Mart featuring a diverse display of the artwork in various forms—painted, carved, sculpted and digital. Discover the Canoe Family Exhibit highlighting the beauty and cultural richness through stories and authentic canoes.
The Spirit of Indigenous People Festival brings together traditional and contemporary Native artists, performers, and vendors to share their cultures with the community and promote the importance of Native traditions and ways of life. This is done through storytelling, and workshops and demonstrations that allow for hands-on learning for kids and adults.
The gathering has grown in participation and diversified since its inception. While the festival provides an opportunity for Native people to come together in ways that cultivate pride and presence of being, it also allows the broader public to peer into the traditions, aspirations and creative expression of the nation’s First People.
Spirit of Indigenous People joined the Festál series in 2011 with a focus on Natives as the indigenous people of North America.
Seattle Center Festál brings to light the culturally rich communities who shape the character of our region. Although the series began in 1997, its origins stretch back to when ethnic communities were planting their roots here. For many of them, Seattle Center served as a central place, where they could invite the public to join in their unique cultural expression. Some festivals were formed in response to wars or ethnic displacement and others to unite their communities, educate the public and dispel stereotypes. Now at 21 years, Festál producers are seeking to sustain their festivals with compelling programming that appeals to multiple generations.
Seattle Center Festál is a public program presented by Seattle Center in partnership with Seattle Indian Health Board. Admission is free-of-charge. For more information on this festival, visit www.sihb.org/spirit-indigenous-people/ and to learn more about this collection of ethnic cultural events and other Seattle Center public programming, visit www.seattlecenter.com or call 206-684-7200.