Council declares November Native American Heritage month

Submitted by the Madrona Institute.

The San Juan County Council declared the month of November Native American Heritage Month in recognition of Native American contributions to the San Juan Islands.

The Council’s resolution stated, “the history, economy, and culture of San Juan County has been significantly influenced by local Native Americans and Tribes whose customs and traditions are respected and celebrated as part of the rich legacy throughout our area.”

The resolution went on to say that, “all residents are encouraged to recognize the accomplishments and contributions Native American communities have made to our society, and to honor their inherent treaty and cultural rights.”

San Juan County joins other counties across the state and nation in recognizing Native American Heritage Month in November, and declaring the fourth Friday of November each year as Native American Heritage Day.

San Juan County is the ancestral homeland of numerous Coast Salish tribes who have inhabited, actively managed and stewarded this region since time immemorial. The resolution further emphasized the Counties commitment to Coast Salish people by saying “San Juan County has a commitment to strengthen our relationship with Native American people and Tribes” and that “San Juan County honors the unique heritage of this continent’s First People and reaffirms its commitment to respect tribal sovereignty and cultural identity.”

The resolution was suggested by the Stewardship Network of the San Juans, a coalition of twenty private and public conservation-based organizations advocating for a healthy, thriving Salish Sea ecosystem in the San Juan Islands, and was introduced by Cindy Wolf, San Juan County Councilmember from Orcas Island.