FOLLOWUP: Council committee delays vote on tribal art project under West Seattle Bridge

(Image from council-committee agenda, incorporating Google Maps photo)

Last night we previewed an item on today’s agenda for the Seattle City Council Transportation and Public Utilities Committee meeting (which just concluded after more than 2 1/2 hours), a plan to pay the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Suquamish Tribe $133,000 for murals on up to 15 columns under the West Seattle Bridge – a mile from the Duwamish Tribe‘s Longhouse. At the request of District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who noted public comments voicing concern, the committee delayed a vote until it reconvenes next year (by which time both Herbold and the committee’s chair Councilmember Alex Pedersen will have left office). SDOT acknowledged there had been no “outreach” to the Duwamish Tribe on the bridge-columns project during the year and a half it’s been in the works, but said the Duwamish are involved with a separate public-art project planned near the Longhouse. (We’re following up to get more information on that and will update this story with whatever we learn.)

5 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Council committee delays vote on tribal art project under West Seattle Bridge"

  • Jeff December 5, 2023 (1:12 pm)

    I am only okay with a Duwamish art project in this location. Would like to see the money stashed for future bridge issues. And possibly a fix to the draining during heavy rains. 

  • Alki gal December 5, 2023 (8:36 pm)

    I’m grateful Lisa Herbold stood up for transparency and accountability today. Excluding the Duwamish tribe AND the West Seattle community from the decision-making process on the Bridge art project demonstrates how the Muckleshoot and Suquamish tribes – in cahoots with the city –  simply don’t care how their plans can impact ordinary residents in West Seattle. That’s very, very sad.

  • West Seattle resident December 6, 2023 (3:06 pm)

    Hello – has the Seattle Duwamish Tribe objected to the column art?   Or is this the opinion of commenters at this time?

  • delridge December 6, 2023 (6:56 pm)

    Voicing my support for the significant involvement of the Duwamish Tribe so they can help lead the outcome of this project.

  • B December 18, 2023 (10:58 am)

    The majority of Muckleshoot Tribe members have Duwamish ancestors; after being forced off their land, some Duwamish went to the Muckleshoot Reservation, some to the Port Madison Reservation, and some stayed in so-called Seattle. Duwamish descendants are now enrolled members of different nations, including the Muckleshoot, Lummi, Suquamish, Tulalip, and Puyallup Tribes (and the Duwamish Tribe, which is not federally recognized).  Regardless of where you land on the issue of the West Seattle Bridge art project, please understand that tribal enrollment and identity is complicated by the violence and displacement of colonization.

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