The Seattle Aquarium honors our location on the traditional and contemporary territories of the Coast Salish people, who have stewarded these lands and waters since time immemorial.
Seattle’s Indigenous communities are critical partners in ocean conservation.
Photo: Robin Little Wing Sigo, Kate Ahvakana and their daughters, all members of the Suquamish Tribe, conducting a land blessing of the Ocean Pavilion site, February 26, 2021.
The Seattle Aquarium’s partnership with the Coast Salish tribes informs every dimension of our plans, including:
Traditional stories from Coast Salish elders, design workshops with tribal youth, visits to tribal cultural centers, and listening sessions with Coast Salish representatives and the Aquarium’s architects and habitat designers.
Respectful relationships and ceremonies honoring the animals in our care.
Informing our physical space, with Coast Salish Native plantings throughout Overlook Walk, and Alaskan Yellow Cedar on the west-facing façade of the Ocean Pavilion and along the Salish Steps of the Overlook Walk. This wood is sourced from a 100% Haida-owned FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified tribal forestry company located in Canada.
Art and recognition, including a prominent work of art by artist Daniel Joseph Friday (Lummi Nation) that will greet visitors inside and outside the Ocean Pavilion, selected by a multigenerational Urban Native community committee.
Partnerships in the Salmon Homecoming Alliance, community partnerships with local Indigenous communities and tribal high schools, and collaboration on conservation research.
Ongoing planning for interpretive programming and cross-cultural collaboration, including international partners.
Photo courtesy of Dan Friday
We have intentionally and purposefully invited an Indigenous design team to partner with the architects and exhibit designers of the Ocean Pavilion. Native people have not traditionally had equitable access to these career paths. It was a matter of equity to find other ways for Native people to be leaders and designers in this project.
Seattle Aquarium and global partners are working together to advance conservation initiatives that can restore the health of our shared ocean.
Seattle Aquarium is working to co-create solutions to biodiversity loss, support climate resilient ecosystems and communities, and build the capacity of local organizations and other experts to lead conservation efforts from Seattle to the Indo-Pacific.
Working with more than 60 global partners from more than 10 countries, Seattle Aquarium is advancing conservation initiatives in the Coral Triangle, including saving sharks from extinction in Indonesia and investing in coastal restoration and protections in Malaysia.
By expanding our global partnerships, we will create even more connections to people and communities who rely on and protect our one world ocean—underscoring our interdependence.