Salish Design

The Cultural Connection

Back home in the Pacific Northwest, I was able to learn about and reconnect with my 'Snohomish' heritage and the rich culture of my ancestors who were among the first people of this region. In a sacred naming ceremony in 1994, I received the name of my great-great grandmother, Yaat-So-Lietsa, and with it came a new sense of self and pride in my heritage. Receiving an ancestral name carries significant and meaningful responsibilities to preserve and protect the Puget Sound Salish culture.

Among my mentors are native and non-native artists, carvers, storytellers, elders, docents, musicians, spiritual leaders and weavers. I am a docent at the Burke Museum and enjoy making ceremonial regalia. I am a member of the Blue Heron Canoe Family. I am gradually developing a body of my own Coast Salish inspired artwork and designs which will eventually be displayed on this site. I've been writing about my journey home since 1994, its tribulations and triumphs, and how reconnecting with a culture I wasn't raised in until long after I was well immersed in the white man’s world has changed my life.