Dealing with Reality in Creative Ways

The Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) and the Seattle Indian Health Board continue to shine a national spotlight on MMIP. Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons  UIHI researched and compiled the comprehensive data showing the breadth and depth of MMIP affecting families in our native communities.

To help focus national attention on MMIP, President Joe Biden issued a White House proclamation declaring May 5 Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day.   The US Department of Interior:  Indian Affairs has information on MMIP with ways to report and ways to help.  All of these resources can help educate and inform.
Read Native News Online’s report on Presidential support for MMIP here.
 Native News Online – a great resource for daily Tribal news.

Seattle City Council President Deborah Juarez, Blackfeet Tribe, always focuses on Indigenous Peoples and shares challenges and successes in her brilliant newsletter.
Example of topics follow the graphic.

Good Afternoon Neighbors,
History was written on Tuesday as the City of Seattle hosted Tribes from around the region to build government-to-government relationships, identify common interests, and discuss ways to work together to strengthen our regional health and wellbeing. 168 years after Indigenous representatives were coerced into gathering at Muckl-te-oh (bəqɬtiyuʔ) to sign the Treaty of Point Elliott, the City was humbled and honored as elected leaders and staff from 11 federally-recognized Tribes accepted the City’s invitation to travel to Seattle City Hall for the inaugural Tribal Nations Summit.
Council President Debora Juarez (Blackfeet) introduces Mayor Bruce Harrell to representatives of 11 federally-recognized Tribes at the Tribal Nations Summit. (photos by Tim Durkan)
Tribal Nations Summit
Multilateral talks were held between 12 governments:City of SeattleSnoqualmie Indian TribeConfederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama NationSquaxin Island TribeCowlitz Indian TribeThe Suquamish TribeMuckleshoot Indian TribeSwinomish Indian Tribal CommunityNisqually Indian TribeTulalip TribesPuyallup Tribe of IndiansUpper Skagit Indian Tribe
(photo by Tim Durkan)
A Listening Session with Mayor Harrell at the Tribal Nations Summit. From left: Vice-Chairman Donny Stevenson, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Senior Deputy Mayor Monisha Harrell, City of Seattle, Seattle City Council President Debora Juarez (Blackfeet), Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, Tribal Relations Director Tim Reynon (Puyallup), Chairman Leonard Forsman, The Suquamish Tribe. (photo by Tim Durkan)
Leadership from at least 18 City of Seattle departments joined the summit, and several department directors joined in direct talks and candid conversation focusing on three areas of shared concern: Housing & Homelessness, Natural and Cultural Resources, and Public Safety.
Top-Left: Tribal Relations Director Tim Reynon (Puyallup) delivers the first State of Indian Country Today address at the Tribal Nations Summit, May 2, 2023. 
Top-RIght: Squaxin Island Tribe Vice Chairwoman Jaimie Cruz addresses the Summit.
Bottom-Right: Reynon speaks during the session on public safety.
Bottom-Left: Council President Juarez (Blackfeet) addresses the inaugural Tribal Nations Summit. (photos by Tim Durkan)
Throughout the day, Tribal Chairs and Tribal Council Members had to the opportunity to question leaders of City departments on the most urgent issues facing our region. These leaders included Int. Dir. royal alley-barnes (ARTS), Int. Dir. Jenifer Chao (DON), Dir. Tanya Kim (HSD), Dir. Curry Mayor (OEM), Dir. Gael Tarleton (OIR), Acting Dir. Rico Quirindongo (OPCD), Dir. Jessyn Farrell (OSE), Dir. Greg Spotts (SDOT), Fire Chief Harold Scoggins (SFD), and Chief of Police Adrian Diaz (SPD). Councilmembers Dan Strauss and Sara Nelson also attended during the day-long Summit.
Left: Deputy Mayor Tiffany Washington listens to Indigenous leaders during the Tribal Nations Summit session on Housing and Homelessness.
Right: Deputy Mayor Greg Wong listens to Chair Steve Edwards of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. (photos by Tim Durkan)
More Than a Land Acknowledgement
(photo by Tim Durkan)

On May 2, 2023 the City of Seattle – in consultation with Tribes attending the inaugural Tribal Nations Summit – developed this list of commitments to federally-recognized Tribes in our region (emphases in original):
Today’s Commitments  Working with city staff to ensure Tribes are consulted with early and often.Providing Training around how to better understand and work with Tribes.Providing opportunities to learn directly from Tribal leaders.Doing all that we possibly can to ensure that Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights are recognized and respected throughout the many City policies, plans, projects, programs, or actions that impact, or may impact, Tribal interests.Convening additional gatherings to dig deeper into the issues covered today as well as other important issues. 
City leaders will also pursue the creation of a “system navigator” position to help foster clear and efficient communication between SPD, Tribal police departments, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, City Attorney and Tribal government prosecutors.
Thank you to Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda for chairing the City Council meeting on Tuesday, so that our office could attend the entire summit. You can watch the meeting yourself on the Seattle Channel

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