Strengthening relationships through art

Strengthening the tribal and school district relationship through art
Presidents ArtMembers of the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians spent the past few weeks adding art to a hallway at Presidents Elementary School. The artwork shows a frog in a wetlands area, which were prevalent in Arlington.

“We have been working together on ‘Since Time Immemorial’ curriculum for some time now,” said Sam Barr, Stillaguamish Tribe Tribal Historic Preservation Office Supervisor. “Adding in some art is a fun and visual way to increase the presence of Coast Salish peoples in more public spaces.”

Since Time Immemorial tribal sovereignty curriculum is required by Washington state law to be taught in schools. The curriculum focuses on the stories and histories of the tribes and their connection to the land.

The art project is being completed by the Stillaguamish Cultural Department in an effort to build on relationships between the Arlington School District and the Stillaguamish Tribe. Brian Perry, in collaboration with Bea Franke, designed the artwork.

Last fall, Presidents Elementary Teacher, Denise Wilson, proposed an idea of how to highlight the school’s friendship with the Stillaguamish Tribe through murals.

“She coordinated efforts with our friends at the tribe and I am absolutely loving both the process and the artwork,” said Presidents Elementary Principal, Jamie Miller. “All of the students and staff were so excited to watch the mural unfold! With this art, we will continue to invite tribal elders and storytellers into our classrooms to teach us about the culture and traditions of the Stillaguamish. We are truly honored to have such a great friendship that continues to grow with the Stillaguamish community.”