April 14, 2019 Newsletter

We hope to see many of you this *Saturday*, April 20th from 1 - 4pm at Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation to join us in welcoming Dr. Karen Capuder, who will be presenting on the history of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. 

Dr. Karen Capuder is a Sociocultural Anthropologist and Archaeologist with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation History/Archaeology Program, where she helps to support the assertion of Colville tribal sovereignty over culturally important places and tribal history through research, consultation and advocacy. 

She is Kanien'keha:ka (Mohawk) and French through her mother and Irish through her father, and her family is from Akwesasne. 

Prior to her work with the Colville Tribes, Karen earned bachelor's and master's degrees in Native American Studies, and master's and doctoral degrees in Anthropology. Her previous work centered on collaborative anthropological research with cultural and spiritual leaders from the Nisqually and Skokomish Nations. In her spare time, she enjoys gathering plant foods and medicines, engaging in cultural activities, fishing, gardening, and cooking for community events.

Please use the following link to access the introduction of her captivating dissertation, which beautifully weaves together personal narrative and history: Forked Tongues at Sequalitchew: A Critical Indigenist Anthropology of Place in Nisqually Territory. For those who have read this introduction and would like to go further, please inquire at learningrightrelations@gmail.com 

*Note this Gathering is on a Saturday, instead of a Sunday. As usual, please bring a $5 suggested donation for our speaker, and a healthy dish to share at the potluck following Karen's presentation.

Read further for upcoming events and news:


Add your public comment to SB 5415 - Creating the Washington Indian health improvement act, which would establish the Governor's Indian Health Advisory Council and a funding mechanism to improve the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives in the state of Washington. 

As this legislative session nears an end, time is of the essence! Click here to add a public comment in SUPPORT of this bill! 

In using this link, you will be directed to enter your mailing address to connect with the appropriate legislators, and there will be a space for comment on the bill. Writing from the heart and speaking from personal experience makes your comments more memorable. If you would like, you can copy and paste the following text and add modifications to personalize: 

"I am a non-Native person deeply concerned with the health and well-being of the First Peoples of this land. I believe this bill is a important step in addressing historic marginalization of our tribal neighbors, and strongly urge the legislature to pass the Creating the Washington Indian health improvement act."

**UPDATE: Good news - this bill passed both the Senate and the House unanimously!

Canoe Journey Blanket Project

You are invited to support the 2019 Paddle to Lummi Blanket Project! Learning Right Relations is working in solidarity with Lummi Nation in helping with preparations for the Paddle to Lummi by sponsoring the blanket project and volunteering for the event. These blankets will be given to Lummi Nation to gift during protocol when the Tribe honors their guests with sacred gifts. 

There are a few different ways that you can support this project. 

  • Donate towards the project in any amount! A contribution of $90 will purchase 10 blankets, and donors contributing $90 will be able to keep a blanket for your own gifting. (Checks may be made out to Learning Right Relations, with "Lummi Blanket" on the memo line, and mailed to LRR, 5515 40th Ave SW, Olympia WA 98512 OR donate via https://www.gofundme.com/paddle-to-lummi-blanket

  • Share with your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, churches and community centers! Click here for the final flyer, which has more details about the project and can be posted and distributed as you see fit. This is a great opportunity to spark a conversation about your own journey of learning around right relationship and solidarity with the First Peoples of this land, and invite more people into this work and dialogue.  

  • Share the gofundme fundraiser on your social media outlets.

  • Continue to watch this newsletter and our website for updates on this project.


Washington State passed the Native American Voting Rights Act, allowing Native American voters to use non-traditional addresses to register to vote. Native voting rights advocates hope that this bill will serve as a model for other states in the time leading up to the 2020 presidential election. For more details, check out this article from Pacific Standard: Could Washington State Be a Model for Native Voting Rights Reform? 

In Washington D.C., the House has passed the Violence Against Women Act, which now moves to the Senate. The legislative path ahead is complicated by sharp divisions over human rights and gun provisions. This bill is significant in that it expands tribal jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native American perpetrators of violence. 

Read Indian Country Today's article on the Violence Against Women Act: What difference does it make to have Native Americans in Congress? This.

Mark your calendars! Paddle to Lummi 2019
July 24th - 28th

Click here for event website
Click here for facebook event.

Amy Troyer-Karas