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We recently worked with Chief Seattle Club in supporting our local, houseless relatives by providing our Native-designed wool blankets for shelter rooms.
In early April, Chief Seattle Club and partners opened up the King’s Inn Motel in downtown Seattle, which provides 58 rooms for the most vulnerable and chronically homeless. Though Native Americans make up 1% of the overall population, urban Natives make up 15% percent of Seattle’s homeless community.
With Chief Seattle Club’s focus on supporting Native people both physically and spiritually, it was crucial to fill the rooms with our authentic wool blankets designed by Native artists.
“For Black, Indigenous, and people of color we know that when the support and solutions come from our own people, we have better outcomes,” writes Derrick Belgarde, who is Siletz and Chippewa/Cree and the deputy director of the Chief Seattle Club. “Our sisters and brothers are less likely to return to the streets when we are creating culturally relevant and appropriate spaces and support systems led by people from our own communities.”
See the full scope of how the King’s Inn Motel provides physical and spiritual support for American Indian and Alaska Native people in the video below:
The King’s Inn Motel is just one of the actions taken by Chief Seattle Club in providing safe spaces for houseless Native folks. Their ?ál?al (a Lushootseed word for home) is a development located across from the Pioneer Square Link light rail station that will have 80 housing units, a cafe and a clinic run in partnership with the Seattle Indian Health Board. An unused SODO parking lot was transformed into Eagle Village, a space with 29 long-term shelter rooms built from shipping containers that include a shower, microwave and fridge — as part of our First Frost Gifting in 2019, we provided the rooms with our wool blankets! Also, coming in fall of 2022, Sacred Medicine House will provide 120 units of permanent supportive housing.