“Artists from the Yelm Prairie Arts Association area were honored with an invitation to participate in the first annual SalmonFest of the Squaxin Island Tribe, The People of the Water, held on August 19th at the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton.
Local artists in attendance at this premier event included Bettye Johnson, author of Secrets of the Magdalene Scrolls, Joe Cattuti of Ginger Street, Jan and Kathleen Hazelton of Will of the Wind, and Myrna Orsini of the Monarch Sculpture Park in Tenino.
This event is a celebration of the salmon, integral to the tribes culture, said Charlene Krise, Council Member and Executive Director of the Squaxin Island Museum. Little Creek Casino Resort and tribal enterprises sponsored the premier event which began with an opening ceremony featuring traditional native singers, dancers and drummers. …
A long time goal, of Squaxin Island and neighboring tribes has been to provide cultural education to the school districts of Washington. SalmonFest proceeds are earmarked for that project. SalmonFest proceeds are also designated to the Squaxin Island Museum and the Education Department. The museum needs to build exhibits and offer more cultural events, but these are expensive and the tribe hopes to begin a yearly tradition which will help them meet their lofty goals.
The SalmonFest is a celebration of the salmon but it is also a celebration of the Squaxin Island Tribe’s growth with the surrounding local and regional communities. Other tribes as well as these communities were invited to share in this celebration. The YPAA artists thank “The People of the Water” for including them in this family-oriented, artistically and culturally beautiful, completely delightful day of festivities,” quoting the YPAA.