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City of Seattle

July 19, 3:19 PM click here to comment > 0

Bernie Whitebear Way dedication

This Saturday Mayor Mike McGinn participated in the Daybreak Star Pow-Wow, honoring the late Bernie Whitebear.┬áThe City renamed the section of Illinois Avenue that leads to the Daybreak Star Cultural Center “Bernie Whitebear Way.” It’s a fitting location to recognize the community leader – it was Bernie’s leadership that made Daybreak Star possible and he dedicated his life to bringing the injustices of all people to light.

Bernie’s fight for social justice was most potent when he collaborated across different cultures and ethnic leaders as a member of the “Gang of Four,” which included Bob Santos, Roberto Maestas and Larry Gossett. Together they worked to establish the Seattle Indian Health Board, the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation and the Minority Executive Directors’ Coalition. The Gang of Four worked to educate government on Native American issues and raise awareness among mainstream Americans of the plight of communities of color through the Civil Rights Era.

Since its completion in 1977, Daybreak Star has become an urban base for Native peoples both local and national and provides a home for the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. The Foundation continues to provide social, education and economic development opportunities and cultural activities for the Native American community. Youth homes, art galleries, school programs, family support services and annual pow-wow events are among the host of services that Daybreak Star provides.

Bernie Whitebear was an inspiration to people everywhere who strive to draw attention to historic injustice and give voice to those who have none. Be sure to visit Daybreak Star soon to learn more about his work, and about the rich cultural heritage of our local Native peoples.

Photos by: Thao Tran

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Posted by: Thao Tran