In 2014, Seattle City Council voted to recognize Indigenous People’s Day on the second Monday in October to celebrate and honor Native American people—shifting the focus from Columbus to the resiliency, history and diverse cultures of Native communities. Today, OED celebrates and honors the many Indigenous communities throughout the country—especially the Duwamish community whose land the City of Seattle now resides on. To celebrate, we encourage the Seattle community to support Native-owned businesses. Don’t see a Native-owned business you love? Let us know!
Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center
The Duwamish Tribe are the first people of Seattle. Their Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center began in the 1990s, as a way for the Duwamish Tribe to reclaim land within their ancestral territory. Overlooking the Duwamish River, the Longhouse promotes the social, cultural, and economic survival of Seattle’s Duwamish Tribe – Seattle’s first people.
Support the Duwamish Tribe by shopping their online store or paying Real Rent. All funds go directly to Duwamish Tribal Services to support the revival of Duwamish culture and the vitality of the Duwamish Tribe. In the upcoming months, the Longhouse will house a juice bar that will support the Duwamish Tribe.
Eight Generation is a Seattle based art and lifestyle brand. It was founded in 2008 when Louie Gong, an Nooksack artist, activist and educator began customizing Vans shoes with traditional Coast Salish art and influences. In 2016, Gong opened the flagship retail store in Pike Place Market.
Eight Generation partners with community-based Native artists around the country to design and create wool blanket, gifts and art. Their Inspired Natives Project, anchored by the tagline “Inspired Natives, not Native-inspired,” builds business capacity among cultural artists while addressing the economic impact of cultural appropriation. Last year, the Snoqualmie Tribe acquired Eight Generation.
Since the pandemic, the flagship store has temporarily closed. Customers are still able to make purchases online and support native artists. In support of the indigenous community, Eight Generation has donated over 10,000 masks to Seattle Indian Health Board.
Plans for Eight Generation expansion to downtown Portland are delayed.
Indian Candy is a small, native-owned family run business that offers sustainably caught salmon and wild foods, such as wild huckleberry jam. They catch and process salmon using the same methods as their ancestors, with a mindfulness of the planet and local ecosystem.
Indian Candy can be found at the University District (University WA NE between 50th and 52nd, Saturdays, 9AM – 2PM), West Seattle (West Seattle Junction, Sundays, 10AM – 2PM), and Capitol Hill (Broadway and Pine, Sundays, 11AM – 3PM) farmers markets, and seasonally at the Columbia City (37th Ave S and Edmunds St, Wednesdays, 3PM – 7PM) farmers markets.
You can also order their products online for local pick up or delivery.
Indian Summer is a Afro Native small business that buys, sells, and trades vintage clothes and accessories in Capitol Hill. They offer a wide range of styles and sizes. In addition, they host events and music in their boutique.
Due to COVID-19, they temporarily closed their store front but have transition to an Instagram marketplace.
Native Works by Chief Seattle Club
Chief Seattle Club supports Seattle’s Native community members that are experiencing homelessness. Their Day Center located in Pioneer Square provides food, primary health care, housing assistance, an urban Indian legal clinic, and outings for members to cultural and community-build events.
Chief Seattle Club also launched Native Works, a Native art job training program to give some Chief Seattle Club members a part-time job as apprentices that will lead to a gateway to full-time employment and housing. Each piece of jewelry is handmade by a local apprentice with all proceeds going directly to providing meals, mental healthcare, drug and alcohol counseling, housing referrals, legal consultation and more to those in need within Seattle’s Native community. Native Works has an online store.
Off the Rez
In 2011, Off the Rez started as a food truck running through the greater Seattle area offering Blackfeet frybread recipes and Indian tacos.
Last year, Off the Rez opened their café at the newly renovated Burke Museum at the University of Washington. In addition to frybread and Indian tacos, the café offers drip coffee, espresso drinks, cold brew and tea. The Café is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10AM – 5PM. Check out their Facebook to see the most up to date location of their food truck.
Off the Rez also offers full catering and bartending services.
OHM Electrical Contracting
Alfred Paul Sim is owner and founder of OHM Electrical Contracting is a full-service electrical contracting firm, based in Seattle. Sim is a licensed 01-Master Electrician with experience in electrical construction, electrical business management and electrical engineering. Sim’s Native background has also influenced his work to incorporate environmental stewardism into his work so that technology can work in harmony with nature. For more information on OHM Electrical Contracting, click here.
Sacred Circle Gift Shop and Gallery at Daybreak Star Center
United Indian of All Tribes operates Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Magnolia. Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center is a land base and community center for Native Americans in the Seattle area. The Center emerged from Native American activists in 1970 who staged a non-violent takeover and occupation of the land, after Fort Lawton military base was declared surplus by the U.S. Department of Defense. This year UIAT is celebrating their 50th anniversary.
At the Center, UIAT provides services to the indigenous community that includes early childhood development, employment support, homeless prevention, native elders support, and more. They also house the Sacred Circle Gallery & Gift Shop to exhibit Native American art, featuring contemporary and traditional Native American art by a wide range of internationally recognized and local artists. The Gallery and Gift Shop is open Monday – Friday, 10AM – 5PM; Saturday 10AM – 4PM. The Sacred Circle Gallery and Gift Shop also has an online store. There is also a Sacred Circle Gift Shop At SeaTac Airport, near the A-gates.