“Who was Chief Seattle,” with Duamish historian David Buerge

  • Mon Nov 4th, 2019 12:35pm
  • Life

Submitted by the Orcas Island Library.

Orcas Island Library and Humanities Washington invite the community to an engaging conversation. “Who was Chief Seattle?” with David Buerge, a member of the 2019-2020 Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau.

This free event takes place at the library in the Graves Reading Area at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9.

For more information, contact Mary Pugh at 360-376-4985.

Chief Seattle wrote nothing down during his life, yet his words — both real and imagined — are known throughout the world. The result is a man-made up of both historical and fictional aspects, from which conflicting messages can be gleaned.

Buerge has spent more than 20 years exploring the man from a variety of sources to reveal a leader of epic character. He was a warrior, an orator, a benefactor, and a visionary who helped found the city that bears his name, Seattle, the largest city in the world named after a Native American. Chief Seattle’s vision was ambitious: a prosperous, multiracial city.

But toward the end of Seattle’s life, he saw that vision become a tragedy. In the current century, is Seattle the city edging any closer to the vision of Seattle the man? Buerge explores this complex figure to uncover how one man’s story still shapes the identity of the city.

Buerge, teacher, writer, and biographer and historian to the Duwamish Tribe — who are Seattle’s mother’s people — has been researching the pre- and early history of the City of Seattle since the mid-1970s. He has published fourteen books of history and biography.

Buerge’s latest book, “Chief Seattle and the Town that Took His Name,” is the first biography of Chief Seattle intended for adults.

Humanities Washington sparks conversation and critical thinking using story as a catalyst, nurturing thoughtful and engaged communities across our state.

For more about Humanities Washington, visit www.humanities.org.