Our Partnerships

We are honored to be responsible guests on the traditional and contemporary territories of the Coast Salish people, who have stewarded these lands and waters since time immemorial.

Indigenous Partnerships

Co-creation with Coast Salish communities has guided the Aquarium’s Ocean Pavilion project for years.

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.

This partnership informs every dimension of our plans, including:

The building, including plantings throughout Overlook Walk and on the Ocean Pavilion’s rooftop that represent coastal ecosystems, sandblasted images that depict the time-honored process of gathering food from the shoreline to feed communities, 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. The building will also display paddles carved by Indigenous paddle-carvers in the Pacific Northwest, in Indonesia and with the Burke Museum.

Ongoing planning for interpretive programming and cross-cultural collaboration, including international partners.

Partnerships in the Salmon Homecoming Alliance, community partnerships with local Indigenous communities and tribal high schools, and collaboration on conservation research.

Respectful relationships and ceremonies honoring the animals in our care.

Input during early planning and development phases, including design workshops with tribal youth, traditional stories from Coast Salish elders, visits to tribal cultural centers, and listening sessions with Coast Salish representatives and the Aquarium’s architects and habitat designers.

Photo courtesy of Dan Friday

Artist Dan Friday working on a blown glass salmon

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.

-Colleen Echohawk, Founder of Headwater People Consulting

Global Partnerships

Seattle Aquarium and global partners are working together to advance conservation initiatives that can restore the health of our shared ocean.

World Ocean
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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 70 ReShark partners from 15 countries, Seattle Aquarium is advancing conservation initiatives in the Coral Triangle, including recovering threatened Indo-Pacific leopard sharks in Indonesia. Read National Geographic’s coverage of this work.

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.

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