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The Duwamish Through Art and Science

Students in the Duwamish Through Art and Science Intensive have been exploring the river and its people through a truly diverse set of interdisciplinary lenses.

Ty Talbot, Fine Arts Teacher and Department Head

University Prep students in the Duwamish Through Art and Science Intensive have been exploring the river and its people through a truly diverse set of interdisciplinary lenses.

Although the course was initially designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the Duwamish River specifically through art and science, students have shown great interest in learning about the people of the Duwamish valley, the struggle for federally recognized tribal status, the environmental devastation along the river, and what the future may hold. 

During the first week, the group took two field trips to the river, including a visit to the Duwamish Longhouse, the first longhouse built along the river since the 1800s. While there, students had an opportunity to meet with the chair of the Tribe, Cecile Hansen, who is the great-great grandniece of Chief Seattle. She talked to us about the construction of the longhouse and where the tribe is in its seemingly endless fight to be recognized by the federal government. Students also had a chance to meet with representatives from Waste Management, one of several companies involved in the Superfund cleanup of the river and its surroundings. Later in the week, we returned to the river to conduct water quality tests, take photos, and further explore the industrialization of the Duwamish River valley. 

During the second two weeks of the intensive, students will be continuing to ask questions about tribal status, environmental cleanup, and Seattle history through a variety of film, photo, podcasting, writing, and visual art projects. We will also have the opportunity to visit Seattle Art Museum, Eighth Generation (a Native-owned and operated art and design company), Flury & Co. (a photo studio specializing in the work of Edward Curtis), and the Hibulb Cultural Center on the Tulalip Reservation. The class keeps and ongoing blog at https://uprepduwamish.blogspot.com/. We hope you will check it out!

 



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