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 • Daybreak Star Cultural Center
 • Seafair Indian Days / UIATF Pow-Wow, hereafter "UIATF Pow-Wow" (2010)
 • Diné / Navajo musician Arlie Neskahi and Marty Bluewater, then executive director of UIATF, at UIATF Pow-Wow (2009)
 • Woman participating in Saturday Grand entry, UIATF Pow-Wow (2009)
 • Dancers in regalia, UIATF Pow-Wow (2009)
 • Woman participating in UIATF Pow-Wow (2009)
 • Lawney Reyes attending UIATF Pow-Wow (2016)

United Indians of All Tribes (also known as the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, or UIATF) is a non-profit foundation that provides social and educational services to Native Americans in the Seattle metropolitan area and aims to promote the well being of the Native American community of the area.[1][2] The organization is based at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Seattle, Washington's Discovery Park.[3] UIATF has an annual budget of approximately $4.5 million as of 2013.[4]


History of Native Americans in the Seattle areaEdit

Many tribes historically inhabited the Seattle area and, to a greater extent, the surrounding Puget Sound area, because of the rich resources of food and fish. Major groups of local contemporary native peoples or tribes include the Suquamish, Duwamish, Nisqually, Snoqualmie, and Muckleshoot (Ilalkoamish, Stuckamish, and Skopamish) tribes.[5] Many Alaskan Natives and Native Americans from the Inland Northwest have also come to live in Seattle. As a result, the city has a large and very diverse urban Indian population. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, there are 86,649 American Indians/Alaskan Natives living in the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bremerton area.[6] The Seattle area has become a nexus of many different tribal cultures from all over the country, with large influences from Coast Salish, Tlingit, Haida, and Plateau Indian cultures.

History of Daybreak StarEdit

UIATF was established in 1970 during the struggle by Northwest Natives to gain ownership or control of a portion of Fort Lawton, as the United States Army had shrunk its base there. Bernie Whitebear emerged as the group's CEO, a position he held until shortly before his death from cancer in 2000. After winning the concession of a renewable 99-year lease on 20 acres (81,000 square meters) in what was to become Discovery Park, Whitebear led the fund-raising for Daybreak Star. Whitebear's brother, the designer and sculptor Lawney Reyes, set forth the "philosophy, nomenclature, and organizational needs of UIATF," working with Northwest architect Arai Jackson to design the center. Whitebear negotiated with then-governor Daniel J. Evans for a $1 million construction grant from Washington State; he also obtained an $80,000 grant for artwork for the building's interior from the Seattle Arts Commission, of which he became a member. Further donations came from tribes and corporations, including many of the materials used in the building.[7]

Attending Seafair Indian Days / UIATF Pow-Wow (2009).

Beginning in 1975 with the grant for artwork, the foundation opened the Sacred Circle Art Gallery at Daybreak Star. The Sacred Circle Art Gallery features both a permanent collection as well as a temporary exhibit space. Until 2001, the gallery featured contemporary art by renowned Native artists such as James Lavadour, Edgar Heap of Birds, and Marvin Oliver. After Whitebear's death, a new group of leaders made changes to the gallery, such as changing its name from the Sacred Circle Art Gallery to the Daybreak Star Indian Art Gallery, whittling two viewing rooms down to one, and shifting the focus away from contemporary Native American art. The gallery carries some contemporary work and continues to rebrand itself. Daybreak has also put on several art markets throughout the year.

Other initiativesEdit

The United Indians of all Tribes Foundation also provides programs such as Indian child welfare services, therapy, and treatment; elder services, including a lunch program; a GED education program; and youth services, including advocacy, substance abuse treatment, and housing for homeless youth. Other programs have included the Ina Maka family program, education and employment services, a child development center, and the ECEAP (Early Childhood Education & Assistance Program) preschool.[8] The foundation also organizes the annual Seafair Indian Days, one of the larger pow-wows in the Northwest, held in conjunction with the city's festival called Seafair. The pow-wow draws tribal members from across the state, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Canada.

Youth services include the 25-bed home Labateyah Youth Home (sometimes written La-ba-te-yah) at 9010 13th Avenue NW, near Holman Road in Seattle's Crown Hill neighborhood. Since 1992, Labateyah has offered transitional and state group housing to youth between the ages of 18 and 23. The name Labateyah is Lushootseed for "the transformer". The program is not exclusively for Native American youth, who compose about a quarter of the facility's clients.[9][10]

Another initiative contemplated by Whitebear was the People's Lodge at Daybreak Star, intended to include a Hall of Ancestors, a Potlatch House, a theater, and a museum,[11] later called the "Daybreak Star Village" proposal,[12] a project now indefinitely postponed for financial reasons.[13] There is also the Pacific Northwest Indian Canoe Center, intended as part of the ongoing development at South Lake Union, just north of downtown,[11]—for which ground was broken February 28, 2007.[14] Both the People's Lodge and the Canoe Center were conceived by Whitebear but left in the planning phases at the time of his death.[11]

Current UIATF initiatives include:

  • The Community Story, a program to facilitate assisting the local indigenous community through input from the Native community and integrating the input into the foundation's programming and to identify their needs.[15]
  • Pathways to Prosperity, a program aimed to alleviate poverty by providing the necessary tools and knowledge to break this cycle in the Native community.

Proposed UIATF initiatives include:

A $3.5 million grant received October 2007 from the Northwest Area Foundation should allow the Bernie Whitebear Center, Daybreak Star College—two of the proposed projects—and the Northwest Canoe Center to proceed. The Canoe Center will be on South Lake Union. The grant will also fund various economic development activities focused on employment and small business development.[19]


  1. ^ "About" page Archived February 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, UIATF site. Accessed 12 March 2007.
  2. ^ De Luna 2006.
  3. ^ People On the Move, Puget Sound Business Journal, 2008-08-04. Accessed 2009-06-03.
  4. ^ United Indians of All Tribes Foundation - Annual Revenue & Expenses, Based on IRS Form 990. More precisely, for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2013, the group had $4,468,827 in revenue and $4,604,650 in expenses. Accessed online 2015-11-09.
  5. ^ Kenneth Greg Watson, Native Americans of Puget Sound -- A Brief History of the First People and Their Cultures,, June 29, 1999. Accessed 2009-05-05
  6. ^ [1][permanent dead link], Washington State Department of Health and Human Services site. Accessed 2009-05-05.[dead link]
  7. ^ Reyes 2002, p.187 et. seq.
  8. ^
  9. ^ LaBaTeYah Residential Transitional Youth Home, United Indians of All Tribes. Accessed 2015-11-09.
  10. ^ United Indians of All Tribes Foundation Labateyah Youth Home Facts, United Indians of All Tribes. Accessed 2015-11-09.
  11. ^ a b c Reyes 2002, p. 190.
  12. ^ Daybreak Star Village Archived February 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, UIATF site. Accessed 12 March 2007.
  13. ^ De Luna 2006. After seven years of negotiations with their neighbors, by the time they had the necessary building permission they were "emotionally and financially exhausted".
  14. ^ South Lake Union Park Project Archived February 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, UIATF site. Accessed 12 March 2007.
  15. ^ Community Story Archived February 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, UIATF site. Accessed 12 March 2007.
  16. ^ Daybreak Star College Archived February 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, UIATF site. Accessed 12 March 2007.
  17. ^ Bernie Whitebear Center for Human and Community Development Archived February 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, UIATF site. Accessed 12 March 2007.
  18. ^ Daybreak Star Youth Summer Camp Archived February 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, UIATF site. Accessed 12 March 2007.
  19. ^ Northwest Area Foundation Awards $3.5 Million to United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation Press Release, 10 October 2007, posted by Philanthropy News Digest, 15 October 2007. Accessed online 25 October 2007.


  • Ruby de Luna, Phil Lane, Jr.: Profile of United Indians’ New Leader, KUOW, June 26, 2007. Transcript and recording. Accessed online 12 March 2007.
  • Lawney L. Reyes, White Grizzly Bear's Legacy: Learning to be Indian, University of Washington Press, 2002. ISBN 0-295-98202-0.

External linksEdit