United Indians of All Tribes (UIATF) has created an Indiegogo campaign to raise the $125,000 it needs to save Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center (3801 W. Government Way).
Daybreak Star is in debt, magnified by losing its federal funding for its Head Start center, as first reported by the Queen Anne & Magnolia News in October. UIATF turned to other tribes for donations, but the process was slow and things were being repossessed in the meantime.
“At this point, we’re just floundering. What we have come in have just been Band-Aids that have just literally kept the lights on,” said interim executive director Minty Longearth at a November board meeting.
Indiegogo is a crowdfunding site where people can gather funds for their ideas. Donors are then rewarded with gifts at each donation level. As of Friday, Dec. 20, the campaign had raised $1,195. Even if the campaign does not hit its $125,000 goal by the deadline of Feb. 18, 2014, UIATF will be able to keep all of the funds raised.
The UIATF gifts range from a social media or certificate thank you (for $25 and $50 donations, respectively), to a personal luncheon and tour ($1,500) or a print by Northwest Native artist Martin Oliver ($10,000).
When the news broke of Daybreak Star’s predicament, we received multiple letters to the editor voicing support for the Native center. Daybreak Star has been home to Seattle Natives since 1973, when the land was occupied in 1970, during the Fort Lawton takeover. It was civil disobedience “to get back the land that was once ours,” said facilities manager Abe Johnny in the campaign video.
“This is where our children get married,” Longearth said. “This is where our elders take their last walk. This is where we gather to be together as Indian people.”
Daybreak Star provides youth housing, urban Indian child-welfare services, services to Native inmates across Washington state and serves as a cultural center for Seattle Natives.
“If you take this place away that’s like taking everything away from our culture,” Sylvia Sabon said. “And we’ll have nowhere to go. We’ll be lost.”
To donate to save Daybreak Star, visit: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-daybreak-star--2
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