Language of the Land:
Lushootseed Language markers on Olympic College Campus
A public art project four years in the making, the waymarkers are written in the Native American Lushootseed language and will be placed on the Bremerton campus to welcome visitors.
Deanna Pindell partnered with student leader Valarie St Pierre, Apsáalooke, to create this interdisciplinary collaborative community project. Ultimately over 50 people participated in some way. Valarie and Deanna took lessons in Lushootseed at the Suquamish Language House and received permissions for the language use. Coast Salish artists Ty Juvenil (Tulalip) and Anthony Jones (Port Gamble S'Klallam) were commissioned to create the designs for the tiles, and the work of carving the tiles and building the waymarkers was completed through a number of community work projects including with the Indigenous Students Club and Ceramics Club students on campus.
"“It is my hope and prayer that these Lushootseed waymarkers are the first steps in honoring the ancestors, Olympic College’s first steps in recognizing the Land we occupy, and the first steps in healing this shared space,” . “Lushootseed IS the language of the Land. When we preserve the language, we preserve the culture.”
- Valarie St. Pierre, member of the Apsáalooke Crow tribe