Friday Letter, 4-7-17

Today’s letter is about educating ourselves.

Let’s start with SAFETY:

Have you found your nearest fire extinguisher (week 1)?

Have you found the First Aid Kit nearest to you (week 2)?

And today (week 3)…Do you know where the AED (Defibrillator) is and the closest AED Prep Kit?

There is a theme here based on feedback from the campus safety survey. I am trying to help employees become more aware of the assets around them and to further affirm that we take safety seriously.  There will be more questions to come.

Next, the TEACH-IN:

Our Spring Teach-In is fast approaching on April 24, 1:00-3:00 pm, in Mobius. I hope you can find a way to weave this into your programmatic and/or curricular activities.  The topic is Israel-Palestine relations with a dose of American Foreign Policy.  Our focus on Pluralism and the current national themes make this a timely opportunity to add a co-curricular component to your work.  The presenters are some of the most knowledgeable people in the country on this topic.  Check out the poster here.


In several campus committees and initiatives, we have tried to pay tribute to the native peoples who came before us. My concern has always been…do we really know the answer to who was here?  And, no, I do not believe anyone has ever completely done the research and reported it to me.  So my quest this last week was to find the answer, and here is what I found:

The people who lived in the area were called the s tsah pahbsh.  They were a sub-sub-group of the Duwamish, which seems to be the umbrella tribe over the region.  Whites called this sub-sub-group by four different names: Sammamish, Squak, Simump, and Squowh.  This is one reason for the confusion around the identity of these people.  Were they Sammamish?  Not sure, but whites called them that.  Were they Duwamish?  Technically yes, but were outcasts from the centralized tribal areas.

The group was called “the willow people”.  That’s how s tsah pahbsh translates.  They lived along the river, hunted, fished, and were called an aggressive off-shoot often attacking other sub-groups for resources (and usually they failed).  They were relocated to the Tulalip and Suquamish reservations around 1856 by white “authorities”.  That leads to another point of confusion.  Were they Tulalip?  No, but some were relocated there and their off-spring now probably share Tulalip blood.  Were they Suquamish?  No, but some were relocated there and their off-spring now probably share Suquamish blood.

To make matters more complicated, the best estimates of the population of the s tsah pahbsh is 80-200 persons as of the 1830s.

Our safest summary is to say they were Duwamish.  But to know their more specific history, stories, and culture…it’s probably impossible.  To compare them to the Duwamish of West Seattle…that’s probably a mistake when we don’t know the cultural differences that led this group of people to inhabit the Bothell area. So it is quite a fascinating tale.  Regardless, we can affirm that white people were not the foreparents of this land.  We steward this land now, and hope to honor the people before us while doing so.

Lastly, campus RESERVED PARKING:

We have chewed on the data and feedback. We have held forums.  And we have discussed this for almost a year.  There is no good fix to our issues that surround the option for Reserved Parking.  It has its merits, but also causes problems among ineligible constituents, those who cannot afford the option, and those who desire it but cannot access it because of wait lists.

With that in mind, the executive team is proposing a change. This change is outlined in the document you’ll find here.  Additional data is found here.  It is not perfect, but we hope it better addresses the concerns without creating too many additional problems.  And, for sure, it is a different philosophy.  I ask that you keep an open and analytical mind as you read it.  It is a compromise between several of the scenarios discussed in the forums.

Our next step is to get this in front of the unions for discussion. As well, I would call upon Exempt Assembly to take this up.  It is only a DRAFT and I am available to interpret and answer questions.

So thanks for participating in these learning processes. It is our style, culture, and expectation that we continually challenge ourselves to learn and think critically.

Have a great weekend.

3 thoughts on “Friday Letter, 4-7-17

  1. Thank you for looking into the history of the native peoples who cared for these lands before us and for sharing what you found! Where were you able to find this information? It would be helpful to know for potential future class projects. Thanks again!

  2. Regarding parking…really appreciate all the thought and effort that is going into creating the best possible solution. I love reserved parking, mostly because I used to work in Seattle. I tried to take the bus as much as possible but when I did drive it was soooooo difficult to find parking that cost less than $25 a day. What you propose seems like a workable solution. I shall turn over my reserved pass with optimism 🙂

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