s'gʷi gʷi ʔ altxʷ: House of Welcome

Longhouse Education and Cultural Center: A Gathering Place for People of all Cultures
Long House Thunderbird

The First of its Kind

The “House of Welcome,” Longhouse Education and Cultural Center opened in 1995 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. As a public service center of The Evergreen State College, the Longhouse’s mission is to promote Indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, creative expression, and economic development.

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The Indigenous Arts Campus

The Indigenous Arts Campus studios have allowed the Longhouse to greatly expand its capacity to offer academic classes and a wider variety of residencies and workshops in traditional and contemporary Native arts. The Indigenous Arts Campus has added new dimensions to Evergreen’s educational leadership as an interdisciplinary liberal arts college with a commitment to honoring our government-to-government relationships with tribal nations.

Multiple committed groups and individuals have generously contributed funding to the Indigenous Arts Campus studio development. Support for the Fiber Arts Studio came from the Ford Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the Surdna Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Evergreen State College, seven Northwest tribes, and more than 165 individual donations. Funding for the new carving studio has been secured from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Foundation, and individual donors.



Aerial view of the Indigenous Arts Campus: Longhouse (left), Fiber Arts Studio (top right), Carving Studio (bottom right), 3D Studio (center). 


Fiber Arts Studio Eastern facade

Fiber Arts Studio Eastern Entrance


Fiber Arts Studio Northwest Entrance

Fiber Arts Studio Western Entrance


Carving Studio

Carving Studio


SIAM, Supporting Indigenous Arts Mastery Program

SIAM Grants for Colleges and Universities: 

The SIAM* program, Supporting Indigenous Arts Mastery, is designed to help community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities (both public and private) achieve some of its goals to support cultural arts of Tribal communities within the institution's own service region. Modeled after the work of the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College, SIAM is designed to support the outward facing public service work colleges and universities may already be doing, or wish to do with Tribal communities to support cultural visual arts.

Every partnership is unique. While institutions do not need to have a comprehensive public service plan already in place, it should have a team of dedicated staff of professionals and leaders and Tribal partners committed to the successful support of proposed projects focusing on cultural arts as defined by a Tribe or Tribes. The institution and the Tribe(s) should have the capacity to deliver the programming described in your letter as well as provide evaluation and institutional documentation of expenditures.

Cultural arts can be multi-disciplinary or focused on a particular type of art deemed to be important for the Tribe(s) by the Tribe(s) and taught by master artists who can bring other Tribal artists into the circle of artistic mastery as explorers, learners and apprentices. The intention is to create artistic paths to ensure sustainability of the artform(s).

Available grants are up to $30,000 per institution, per year, which is renewable for longer projects. Project budgets should focus on contracts with master artists, supplies and materials, as well as support for learners/apprentices. It may include rental, support for meals during workshops, mileage, lodging as well as some salary support and goods and services for the institution team managing the project. Projects can be matched with other funding sources from institutional, state, and national resources.

Successful institutions will demonstrate a philosophy of service, respect, and consultation with Tribes that elevates autonomy, agency, and expertise of Tribes in their work to support and advance artistic mastery in their communities.

*SIAM is a Salish term for a learned elder and simultaneously a term of respect for learned ancestors.

For more detailed information, or visit our grants webpage

Questions can be directed via e-mail or phone to:
Laura VerMeulen, Longhouse Director

vermeull@evergreen.edu, 360.867.6413


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