Evergreen Longhouse to Host Annual Community Dinner

Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, J.D. (Ojibwe) (center) at the 2018 Longhouse Community Dinner.

Olympia, WA – Nov. 5, 2019 

The Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at The Evergreen State College will host their annual community dinner on Saturday Nov. 9, 6-9 p.m. 

Accompanying the community dinner is an awards ceremony that brings in well over 200 guests to the campus. Hillel Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), private chef, educator and founder of Birch Basket Catering, will be providing a variety of Indigenous foods. 

This year, the Longhouse will honor two elders, Trudy Marcellay (Chehalis) and Greg Colfax (Makah) for the s3hLihL “Teaching by Example” award. The award honors local Native creative elders who support the teaching and learning of the arts for the next generation of family and community within their tribes, as well as more broadly. 

Marcellay, a master weaver, is a sixth-generation basket weaver and the daughter of master weaver, teacher and lecturer Hazel Pete. The event will include a “dancing of baby boards” to display all of the traditional Native baby carriers that Marcellay has contributed to generations of families and tribal communities.

Greg Colfax, a master carver, recently led the revitalization of the landmark Welcome Woman at the entrance to the Evergreen campus. Through the Longhouse Artist-in-Residence program, Evergreen student, Bunni Peterson-Haitawas (Skokomish) had the opportunity to work with Colfax as an apprentice. The Welcome Woman was originally carved in 1984 by Greg Colfax and Peterson-Haitwas’ father, Andy Wilbur-Peterson (Skokomish).

In addition, Shirod Younker (Coquille/Coos), will receive the Eighth Generation “Inspired Natives Award”, presented by Louie Gong (Nooksack). The Spirit of Laughter SPAM award will go to Josh Mason (Squaxin Island).

The event is open to the Native communities that the Longhouse serves in its public service work, Evergreen students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the public who wish to attend. 

Those who want to attend are asked to RSVP. There is a suggested $20 donation. Students, children and elders are free. RSVP by Thursday, Nov. 7, by contacting Mario Caro caroma@evergreen.edu.