Going big with the Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe and the Sheckler Foundation

April 14, 2014

A few months ago the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe asked if I could help paint their new skate park, which was built after years of hard work by their youth group, S.W.A.G (S'klallam's Working and Giving), and a generous donation from the Sheckler Foundation.  When I said yes, I didn't realize it would be one of the coolest project I've ever been a part of (Check out the video below).

They wanted to personalize the park to reflect the unique identity of the community, and more specifically, the spirit and interests of the youth that would be using the park. It was a process that we eventually would start calling "S'Klallamization". Anyway, after about 60 hours of donated time that included consultation with the youth before working out the design, this is what we created.

It's a 40' Coast Salish eagle with swooping wings and a 30' Killer Whale right below it.

The eagle is clutching a ribbon that says "We are Port Gamble S'Klallam" in the S'Klallam language.

At least 20 different community members, from ages 6-60, helped decide on the design and helped paint the park.

On opening day, pro skater David Reyes helped Ryan Sheckler break in the park while about 200 community members cheered them on...then joined in.

Ryan went really big.

Here's the Sheckler Foundation's (like them on Facebook) video of the launch celebration, which includes clips of Ryan and David skating the freshly "S'Klallamized" park.

 Update: The skate park art appeared in the 2015 World of Redbull commercial, which premiered during the MTV Movie Awards.


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