Snoqualmie Indian Tribe Donates $150,000 to Daybreak Star 


The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is honored to support Seattle’s Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center with a $150,000 donation. Daybreak Star has been struggling to remain open and almost faced closure last September due to grant cuts as well as program cuts.

“The work that Daybreak Star does for Northwest Natives and others is critical,” said Snoqualmie Indian Tribe’s Chairwoman Carolyn Lubenau. “The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe wanted to ensure that the Center’s programs are able to continue.”

“We hold our hands up to the Snoqualmie people,” said UIATF Board Chair Jeff Smith (Makah). “The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe’s generosity means that Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center will be able to continue as an essential cultural hub for Seattle’s Native community, and for our doors to remain open to the non-Native public. This is the best news we have had in a long time and our hearts are filled with love and gratitude.”

Daybreak Star opened in 1977, seven years after activists declared “We, the Native Americans, reclaim the land known as Fort Lawson in the name of all American Indians by right of discovery,” thus holding up the U.S.-Indian treaties promise of reversion of surplus military lands to their original owners.

Bernie Whitebear, a Colville Tribal member and principal organizer of the effort, led over a hundred Native American activists to scale the fence at what was then Fort Lawton, seeking part of the decommissioned property as a cultural base for the increasing numbers of urban Indians brought to Seattle by federal Termination and Relocation policies. The actions of this group of activists attracted national media attention to the issue of Native families struggling to survive without help in their new urban surroundings, and helped lead to the establishment of Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center. The establishment of the Center signaled that urban Indians were prepared to fight for visibility, respect, and access to needed services.

“Honoring our history and supporting the work laid down by visionaries that fought for the rights of All Tribes – we’re humbled to be able to help,” Lubenau said.

The Snoqualmie Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Known as the People of the Moon, Snoqualmie Tribal members were signatories of the Treaty of Point Elliott with the Washington territory in 1855. The Tribe owns and operates the Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, WA.