Native Life in the City Gala

Still Indigenous. Still living in a pandemic. And we’re going live.

Join UIATF for a week-long series of livestreams leading up to our annual Native Life in the City Gala. We’re talking to Native changemakers and caretakers about where our community has been, where we are now, and what’s next.

The overarching theme of this year’s gala — We’re Still Here — is rooted in perseverance. It is not only the spirit of trudging onward against the backdrop of a second pandemic year, but also remaining Indigenous on our lands after centuries of abuse and erasure. 

Each day of our week-long program focuses on a different sub-theme designed to reflect on that larger topic. It’s a thematically chronological series of livestream conversations. 

5/10 – “Where Have We Been?” Monday’s live is an intimate conversation between our board’s Chairwoman, Abriel Johnny + original fence jumpers from the 1970 Fort Lawton Takeover, the protest that literally paved the way for UIATF’s existence. 

5/11 – “What Are We Taking With Us?” Tuesday’s live is a panel about Indigenous language survival. Already at risk prior to COVID-19, it has become an even more perilous as we struggle against a disease most deadly to elders, who are relied upon for cultural preservation.  

5/12 – “How Are We Healing?” We’d be remiss without a discussion about the incredible work of Native doctors and healers in keeping our people well and coordinating a notoriously swift vaccine roll-out. Speakers will include Dr. Socia Love of Seattle Indian Health Board and Dr. Dakotah Lane, Health Director of Lummi Nation.

5/13 – “Where Are We Now?” In line with our broader theme, we want to ground ourselves in the present through a roundtable with Native elected officials about contemporary Indigenous struggles. Speakers will include longtime former Sen. John McCoy + Rep. Debra Lekanoff.

5/14 – “Where Are We Going?” Friday’s stream is a conversation between Oscar-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay (When They See Us, 13th) and rising star Jana Schmieding (Rutherford Falls) about retelling narratives often deleted from or distorted in “textbook” history. How we approach the telling of our past has a major impact on our ability to envision a future together, and we’re turning to two BIPOC women of Hollywood for insight about that process. 

5/15 – The gala will conclude on Saturday with our yearly auction of Native artwork and goods. 

Check out our Facebook for the latest updates.