The Creator has left the sky too low. We are going to have to do something about it, and how can we do that when we do not have a common language? ...We can all learn one word, that is all we need. That word is yəhaw̓ - that means to proceed, to go forward, to do it.
— taqʷšəblu / Vi Hilbert (Upper Skagit) in her telling of Lifting the Sky
Lifting the Sky | This story comes from Chief William Shelton (Tulalip) (published in English, 1923). Vi told it as part of the Spring Revels, with the help of a cast of children and the attending audience. (Videorecording by Padma Guidi, Spring Revels, Scottish Rite Temple, Seattle, 5-2-93)

About yəhaw̓

yəhaw̓ is an Indigenous-led, yearlong project that includes satellite installations, performances, workshops and trainings, artists-in-residence, art markets, a publication, and partner events at more than twenty-five sites across Coast Salish territories and beyond. Our programs are accompanied by relationship-building and mentorship opportunities to support continued artistic development in our communities, with the intent that all participants will gain experience and exposure, and build sustaining connections. The exhibition at ARTS at King Street Station, running from March 23-August 4, 2019, is the centerpiece of yəhaw̓.

The title of the show is drawn from the Coast Salish story of people from many tribes uniting around a common cause and lifting the sky together. In the spirit of that story, we used a decolonized curatorial process, inviting all Indigenous individuals living in the region to participate. As a result, the gallery features work from over 200 exhibitors. Participants come from urban and reservation communities, use many types of media, and range from master artisans and Elders to youth and emerging creatives who are exhibiting their work publicly for the first time.

We hope that yəhaw̓ reflects a nuanced, inclusive narrative that firmly establishes the vital contributions generated by Native thinkers and makers here, and now. By organizing an opportunity for community to speak for itself through a wide range of individual - and sometimes opposing - perspectives, yəhaw̓ un-settles assumptions and centers Indigenous action, Indigenous innovation, and Indigenous agency to author our own stories.

We raise our hands to all the Indigenous artists, the Office of Arts & Culture, and the partners who have helped to realize this project. Thank you for your trust, your generosity, and your willingness to learn with us.

Together we lift the sky.

- yəhaw̓ Curatorial Team - Tracy Rector (Choctaw/Seminole), Asia Tail (Cherokee Nation), and Satpreet Kahlon

How to say yәhaw̓…

Listen and learn how to pronounce the Lushootseed word yәhaw̓ that means to proceed, go forward, do the work.

Exhibition at King Street Station

March 23 - August 4, 2019
King Street Station, 303 S. Jackson St., Top Floor, Seattle, WA 98104

Exhibiting Artists

  • Aaron Parker

  • Abbey Pierson

  • Adam Sings In The Timber

  • Addison Karl

  • Adria Bennett

  • Adria Xvala Garcia

  • Aiyanna Stitt

  • Alex Britt

  • Alexander McCarty

  • Alexander Melrose

  • Alice Bugni

  • Alison Marks

  • Amber Wilson

  • Analisa McCloud

  • Ariane Xay Kuyaas

  • Arianne True

  • Asa Wright

  • Ashley Alvarez

  • Ayanna Fuentes

  • Bawny Vandaway

  • Brenda Ledesma

  • Brenda Mallory

  • Brian Oaster

  • Britt Rynearson

  • Carl Sam

  • Caroline Edwards

  • Carrie Chapman Schuster, Lady Palouse Creations

  • Catherine Cross Uehara

  • Celeste Whitewolf

  • Chai Adera

  • Charles Fiddler

  • Christina Oliver-Schuckenbroch

  • Christine M Babic

  • Cindy Chischilly

  • Clair Rand

  • Cody Morgan Gray

  • Corinna Stasso

  • Crystal Christopherson

  • Crystal Florez

  • Crystal Worl

  • Cynthia Masterson

  • D'Viek Washington

  • Daybreak Star Preschool Students

  • Dayton López

  • Delany Dharaseang

  • Demian DinéYazhi'

  • Denise L. Emerson

  • Diane Covington

  • Don Bailey

  • Douglas Burgess

  • E. Gingrich

  • Eileen Jimenez

  • Eli Tail

  • Elijah Ramirez

  • Elise Snow Andrews

  • Elizabeth Rideau

  • Ellyn Carlson

  • Emma Noyes

  • Erik Sanchez

  • Erin Stagg

  • erin tail

  • Ernesto Ybarra

  • Eshara McCarty

  • Evan Ducharme

  • fabian romero

  • Fox Spears

  • Francine Cunningham

  • Fred Night Walker

  • G. Raquel Emeka

  • Gary Bigbear

  • Gloria Jean Milne

  • Haley Waddington

  • HollyAnna "CougarTracks" DeCoteau Littlebull

  • Huītzilcuāuhtli : Leslie Jimenez

  • Inanna McCarty

  • Itsa Shash and Mariana Harvey

  • Ixtli Salinas White Hawk

  • Izabelle Reiner

  • Jaci Wescott

  • Jacob Johns

  • Jake Prendez

  • Jarrod Da

  • Jennifer Wood

  • Jess Guecha Rojas Bunoan

  • Jess Lujan, Apache Arts

  • Jessica Mehta

  • Jimmy Nooksuklth Zahir

  • Joan Minodéquay Staples

  • John Feodorov

  • Jonathan Schooner

  • Joseph Aleck

  • Joseph Seymour Jr

  • Kalee Nelson

  • Kali Spitzer

  • Kanani Miyamoto

  • Karen Engel

  • Kathryn Miller

  • Katrina Quin-Telx Moomaw

  • Kayla Guyett

  • Kelly Cannell

  • Kimberly Deriana

  • Kimberly Miller

  • Lacey Warrior

  • LaKota Scott

  • Lalo Mihoiniwa Valdez

  • Lehuauakea Fernandez

  • Leonardo Rambayon

  • Linley B. Logan

  • Lisa Fruichantie

  • Lisa Villanpando Anderson

  • Lourdez Velasco

  • Lynette La Fontaine

  • Macario Rambayon

  • Malynn Wilbur Foster, Mike Foster, and Randy Foster

  • Margaret Morris

  • mario lemafa

  • Marisa Erven

  • Marjorie Kalama

  • Mary Babic

  • Mary Kelsay

  • MaryJane Ides

  • Matika Wilbur

  • Maureen Gruben

  • Maya López

  • Megan McDermott

  • Melissa Shaginoff

  • Michaila Konig Taylor

  • Miles Vahn Justice Hart

  • Morgan Greene

  • Mousy DeVilla

  • Nancy Burgess

  • Nancy S Raymond

  • Nataanii Nez Cottier

  • Natalie Ball

  • Nico Inzerella

  • Olivia Hart

  • Pah-tu E Pitt

  • Paige Pettibon

  • Pamela Louis

  • Paul Chiyokten Wagner

  • Philip H. Red Eagle

  • PJ Gilhuly

  • Priscidia McCarty

  • Priscilla Dobler

  • Puanani Maunu

  • Raven John

  • Raven Juarez

  • Raven Two Feathers

  • Rebecca Cesspooch

  • Rhea Vega

  • Richard Heikkilä-Sawan

  • Ricky Clousing

  • Roin Morigeau

  • Roldy Aguero Ablao

  • Roquin-Jon Quichocho Siongco

  • Roxann Murray

  • RYAN! Feddersen

  • Sam Stitt

  • Sara Marie Ortiz

  • Sara Siestreem

  • Sean Gallagher

  • Selena Kearney

  • Shaun Peterson - Qwalsius

  • Sky Hopinka

  • Sondra Segundo

  • Sonny Assu

  • Sonrisa Barron

  • Stephanie Fogel

  • Stephanie Leon Riedl

  • Storme Webber

  • Super Futures Haunt Qollective

  • Susan A. Point

  • Susan Ringstad-Emery

  • Sylver Hart

  • Tammie Dupuis

  • Taylor Dean

  • Taylor Wily Krise

  • Thomas A. Cannell

  • Thomas Stream

  • Timothy White Eagle

  • Toma Villa

  • Toni Ann Tanner Brend

  • Tony Boyd

  • Treena Ivie

  • Tsēmā Igharas

  • Tyera Alice Pete

  • Tyrone Patkoski

  • Vi Hilbert

  • Vi Levitt / KERUB

  • Whess Harman

  • William Frymire

  • Xulie Flor Olivos

  • Yvette L Diltz

By the Numbers

About Our Exhibition

  • 200+ Indigenous creators are featured in the yəhaw̓ exhibition at King Street Station (with many more represented in our programming and publication)

  • Of the 200 exhibitors, about 130 identify as women, and more than 30 identify as Two Spirit or Queer

  • 100+ tribal affiliations and Indigenous communities are represented from across the globe

  • 149 of our exhibiting artists are based in Washington, with another 24 from Oregon, 19 from British Columbia, 8 from Alaska, and 1 from Montana

  • 280+ objects are in the gallery

  • Over 2,700 people attended our exhibition opening celebration on March 23, 2019

  • By our initial open call deadline on April 20, 2018, we received 133 submissions. 64 of those 133 also applied for our mentorship program - meaning nearly half expressed an interest in pursuing training opportunities to further develop their creative practice. 104 of the original applicants are in our final exhibition of just over 200 creatives, with the other half coming from continued outreach over the course of a year of community-based programming.

About Our Money

Please note, our budget is still in flux as expenses arise and new funds are secured, but in the spirit of transparency we are sharing our current planned expenses from 2016 - March 2019. These numbers reflect the monies we route through our fiscal sponsor Na’ah Illahee Fund, and do not account for costs that are paid out directly through our partners as part of joint programs, which together make up more than $20,000 in additional dollars going to Native artists and community events.

  • Offsite Programs and Event Costs (including artist fees, supplies, food, and community curator fees) - $32,036

  • Curatorial Team Fees - $27,000

  • King Street Station Special Commissions - $20,500

  • King Street Station Exhibiting Artist Honorariums at $100 each - $20,000

  • Art Transportation/Installation Costs and Contract Labor - $22,679

  • Na'ah Illahee Fund Fiscal Agent Fee at 8% - $11,841

  • Mentorship Program Costs and Artist Fees - $9,626

  • Documentation/Communications - $7,038

  • Publication Artist Fees and Online Design- $5,000

  • Graphic Design and Branding - $4,412

Code of Conduct Policy

yəhaw̓ is committed to creating programs free of harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behavior. yəhaw̓ is intended to be a safe space for all, including Indigenous womxn, Two Spirit people, youth, and those most marginalized in our communities. We reserve the right to deny access to, or remove from our events and venues, those who have violated the sacred, especially those who remain unrepentant with no movement towards healing and reconciliation.

If you have in the past or are currently making others feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, we encourage you to begin a conversation with the curatorial team (Tracy Rector, Asia Tail, and Satpreet Kahlon), and for the sake of larger community values and empowerment of the Indigenous artists in our show, we request you remove yourself from yəhaw̓ programming.

Similarly if you have had negative experiences with anyone affiliated with yəhaw̓ please contact us. If in alignment with the wishes of the survivor, when reports are made regarding individuals we work with we will request their recusal and remove them from our programs while we address the circumstances. We are committed to doing everything in our power to minimize harm, and to support safety and healing in Indigenous community whenever possible. Email, call or text 253-336-6477, or use the contact form on

The names of any individuals reporting to the yəhaw̓ curatorial team will be kept confidential and protected. Reports may be submitted via the contact information above or anonymously via the box below. Please include first person experiences with dates and details when possible:

Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people.