Sacred Medicine House

One of our core values is a commitment to community, and so we are incredibly proud to announce the opening of Chief Seattle Club’s new housing project, Sacred Medicine House, and Eighth Generation’s part in helping beautify and indigenize this important space.

“Ensuring culturally-attuned housing for our unhoused relatives is a critical part of how the Native community shows up for all our people,” shares Eighth Generation’s CEO, Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee, Athabascan). “The work Chief Seattle Club does to combat Native homelessness in Seattle is incredible. Their newest space—Sacred Medicine House—is one huge step closer to their goal of having a safe home for every Native person in Seattle. Eighth Generation is honored to have worked with them to provide authentic Native art for each of the building’s floors so that our relatives can heal and thrive surrounded by the images of their culture and community.”

 Exterior of Sacred Medicine House. Photo courtesy of Chief Seattle Club and Scared Medicine House

Built in Lake City, Sacred Medicine House is a permanent, supportive, and indigenous-informed housing community for Native people experiencing homelessness and/or substance abuse. While Urban Native people make up only 1% of the Washington State population, they represent 15% of the unhoused Population[i]. With this in mind, Chief Seattle Club has a goal to eliminate urban Native homelessness in Seattle within the next five-to-six years. Founded by Native people for Native people, Sacred Medicine House has five stories and 120 units with independent studio apartments, all designed to safely house a Native relative. A ground floor space sits below the units, offering support and therapeutic activities with ample outdoor recreation for healing.

The Blueprint for Sacred Medicine House

In May 2022, Eighth Generation was asked by Chief Seattle Club to collaborate in finding Native artists to create beautiful “art walls” for every elevator lobby and gathering space in Sacred Medicine House. Each elevator lobby showcases a mural featuring a traditional Indigenous dwelling from various regions of the US, with landscapes and animals from that environment. In addition, each gathering space shares pattern-focused art that reinforces the floor’s regional theme. The art pieces are meant to convey a sense of belonging, tradition, and “home” to the residents of Sacred Medicine House. All of the artwork was digitized and applied to the walls of the house with a durable wallpaper-like finish called Phototex.

While many people assisted in this project, Eighth Generation’s Project Manager, Stephanie Masterman (Tlingit) was the point person on our company’s end, doing the incredible work to find artists, match themes, and keep the project moving forward. Her tireless advocacy for both financial equity for our artists and housing equity is truly impressive and we are incredibly proud of her work.

The Amazing Contributions by Our Eighth Generation Artists

Drawing from past and current Eighth Generation artists, as well as other community-minded Native artists, Sacred Medicine House and Eighth Generation were able to work with fifteen artists to contribute to this project. They include: Ahsaki LaFrance-Chachere (Diné/Navajo and African American), Andrea Wilbur-Sigo (Squaxin Island, Skokomish), Apay’uq Moore (Yup’ik), Bethany Yellowtail (Apsaalooke/Crow and Tsetsehestahese/So’taeo’o/Northern Cheyenne), David Robert Boxley (Ts'mysen/Tsimshian), Dawn Dark Mountain (Oneida), Gail White Eagle (Muckleshoot and Chehalis), Hanna Sholl (Sugpiaq/Alutiiq), John Isaiah Pepion (Piikani/Blackfeet), Kira Murillo (Shoshone-Bannock), Louie Gong (Nooksack), Lynda Teller Pete (Diné/Navajo), Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo), Roger Fernandes (Lower Elwha Band of the S’Klallam people/Klallam), and Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe-Ojibwe).

The artists were asked to create a design for Sacred Medicine House inspired by the following prompt:

  • Elevator Lobby: Traditional Indigenous dwelling. Each elevator lobby wall will show what housing structures look like and can include representation of the landscape and animals from that environment. Can include pattern work, figures of people, food, regalia. These pieces are meant to convey a sense of belonging, tradition, and "home" to the residents of Sacred Medicine House, and should include elements of traditional dwelling or living structures as informed by the ancestral traditions of the artist.
  • Wall in Gathering Space: The art walls on each floor will follow the regional theme and will be pattern focused. We will select existing artwork from the artist which draws from traditional Indigenous designs of the artist's region.

Our Inspired Natives® Project collaborator Sarah Agaton Howes (Anishinaabe-Ojibwe), contributed two art pieces—one elevator lobby and one gathering space—to Sacred Medicine House that showcase her Woodland designs inspired by traditional Anishinaabe flora. Recognized as a teacher and community organizer from the Fond du Lac Reservation in Minnesota, Sarah is also known for her beautiful bead work, moccasins, and regalia. She works hard to build a strong community by teaching about Ojibwe cultural art and creating tools such as books and tutorials for other artists.


Sarah's gathering space design         Sarah's elevator lobby design

In her gathering space design, Sarah shared her tranquil Classic Woodland design. Her art piece features the ode'imin (strawberry or heart berry), manoomin (wild rice), miinan (blueberry), and bimaakwad (the vine) reminding residents of the connection of all things. Continuing with her Woodlands theme, Sarah’s Endaayang art piece adds vibrancy to one of the elevator lobbies in Scared Medicine House. Endaayang, meaning “our home” in Anishinaabemowin, highlights heart berries, vines, and trilliums—a rare three-petaled flower that covers the forest floor across the Ojibwe homelands during spring. She wraps her beautiful flowers around a waaka'igan (wigwam), the traditional Ojibwe home for all seasons. Speaking to the residents of Sacred Medicine House, Sarah shares her intention with her two art pieces: “My hope would be that you’re reminded of how beautiful and precious your life is and that you deserve a wonderful place to call home.”

David's gathering space design

David Robert Boxley (Ts'mysen/Tsimshian), another Eighth Generation artist, contributed a beautiful design for one of the gathering spaces in Sacred Medicine House. David comes from the village of Metlakatla, Alaska, and grew up both there and Kingston, Washington; he currently lives in his village to help in the efforts to save his people’s language. His father, renowned Tsimshian artist and culture bearer, David A. Boxley taught him how to carve at the age of six. David has since studied under Master Haida Carver, Robert Davidson. In his design for Sacred Medicine House, David incorporates traditional Northwest Coastal designs with a modern twist and breathtaking shades of blue.

Hanna's elevator lobby design

Hanna Sholl, an Sugpiaq/Alutiiq artist from Kodiak Alaska, illuminates the wall of one of the elevator lobbies in Sacred Medicine House with a mesmerizing art piece showcasing the landscape, animals, and people of Alaska. Her design is a beautiful reminder to residents of the strength and resistance they carry not only within themselves, but together as a community. "With everything I do, I hope to honor the resistance and creativity of our ancestors, while combining traditional practices with present day methods diligently and with intention. I am venturing to continuously learn and share and teach the complex and beautiful culture of the Sugpiaq people," shares Hanna.

Partners in Community

Eighth Generation is a company founded by art and activism. We are incredibly joyful to continue working in spaces that merge art and activism, like Sacred Medicine House, and we deeply value the importance of collaborating with other like-minded organizations.

We are delighted to share that as of May 13, 2024, residents have begun moving in to Sacred Medicine House! Each resident is one less Native person living unsafe on the streets, and we are awed by the incredible work Chief Seattle Club continues to do. Please follow Chief Seattle Club and Sacred Medicine House to continue to be inspired by their mission and work. You can also donate to Sacred Medicine House here.


[i] Lynch, James. "Sacred Medicine House: A new place to call home for homeless Indigenous people". 97.3FM Kiro Newsradio My Northwest News (Seattle, Washington), April 13, 2024