For Thanksgiving, check out new Native art in Seattle

Movies and virtual events 

Due to experience gained by all those pandemic pivots, virtual art events abound this year, which means you can enjoy including Native films, visual art shows and readings from your couch.

>> Washington state’s poet laureate, Bellingham-based poet Rena Priest (a member of the Lhaq’temish/Lummi Nation), will join two other Indigenous poets, New Zealand-based Iona Winter (Waitaha/Kāti Māmoe/Kāi Tahu/Pākehā) and Tacoma-based Sasha LaPointe, a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes for a reading co-hosted by Seattle City of Literature and Dunedin (NZ) City of Literature. The writers will discuss their work and shared resonances in a prerecorded virtual talk (Dec. 1, 6-7 p.m. Free). 

>> “Three years, two months and nine days,” says Ken Workman, the great-great-great-great-grandson of Chief Seattle, “from the time that the Denny Party landed at Alki Point on November 13, 1851, to the signing of the Point Elliott treaty in 1855.” This astonishingly brief time span becomes an incantation in Three Years, a new short (streaming free, online) by Seattle filmmaker B.J. Bullert. In simple scenes shot on a windy day at Alki Beach, Workman repeats the timeline, and explains in Lushootseed how Chief Seattle initially welcomed the new arrivals: “Come ashore my friends, come ashore onto this ancient land of the Duwamish.” When the wind kicks up, Workman’s words seem to push the waves backward, as if to reverse time. “The Duwamish remain,” he says. “We are fixed to the land. We are still here.”

>> The multidisciplinary arts group yəhaw̓ Indigenous Creatives Collective recently premiered two online visual art exhibits. Telling Our Own Stories: Afro-Indigenous Creativescurated by local artist Brit Reed, includes short films, multimedia collages, beadwork, music, quilts and digital artwork by artists from across the Western Hemisphere. A second virtual, multimedia art show featuring intriguing artworks (also curated by Reed) chronicles Indigenous responses to COVID-19 under the banner of Being A Good Ancestor. As Reed writes, these are the questions posed to artists: “How are you being a good ancestor as we go through this era of COVID-19, a continuing Civil Rights Movement, and political strife? What stories from the past, from the ancestors, are inspiring your actions today?” 

>> Three Dollar Bill Cinema is streaming a virtual Indigenous showcase consisting of two feature-length and two short films (Nov. 19-29). Being Thunder follows a two-spirit gender-queer teenager from the Narragansett tribe in Rhode Island, and in Fire Song, a gay Anishinaabe teenager grapples with a life-changing event. Also in the lineup is the short Drive to Top Surgery, by local Emmy-award-winning creator and director Raven Two Feathers, who will moderate a panel of Indigenous filmmakers on Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. on Three Dollar Bill’s Facebook and YouTube pages.