Theme: Natural Environment

“This we know; The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know, all things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.” -Chief Sealth

As a geographer, it is exciting to be asked to work on a project that is so inherently intertwined with space and place, so plainly cultural as culture relates to location, land use, demographic trends, and resource management. The reason I chose to follow in the path of geographers before me began as an intriguing desire to discover just how it is that certain events take place in certain locations, that some spaces are deemed acceptable for certain human interactions, and others not, that environmental space is respected or disrespected given culture and space. And essentially, I wanted to study human trends, migration, industrialization, urbanization, politics, gender relations, health trends, and mobility. When given a geographic space, the Rapid Ride Line A corridor along Pacific Highway South between Tukwila and Federal Way, it is a lot of work to try and discover and analyze all of the above tensions, realities, topics, and ultimately inequalities. I have therefore chosen to narrow down specifically what I will be analyzing when it comes to Line A in order to give sufficient attention to the happenings and themes occurring in and at this space.

The format of this website will begin by broadly analyzing the history and trends of environmental dispossession of Native Americans through the settling of the United States and the intrigue of the Western Frontier. In keeping with broad themes, I will then look at Native American religion and culture, and the inherent respect of the environment that is a trend nationwide for those indigenous to the U.S. I will then narrow my topic to the Duwamish people, those who specifically inhabit the areas surrounding Line A, and whose history and culture has constantly been thrown around within time and space. I would then like to connect these themes, and the history of the Duwamish people, by exploring the importance to the native peoples of the Duwamish Watershed, and of the water and natural resources that are in a dwindling state as pollution and land use threaten the livelihood of the people of the water. The artistic element that I am incorporating throughout this research, aside from annotated photographs, will be poetry both about the area of study, and the importance of water and the land to the Native peoples.
-Hayley Pickus

Women cooking salmon on Muckelshoot Reservation, Auburn, ca. 1950

"'Culture' a product and process of struggle," and landscape is constantly being rewritten, sometimes illegibly, in order to define just what a reading of a landscape and its culture might be. (Mitchell)