In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the North Olympic Library System hosts a special program on Monday, Oct. 14, at the Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St.
First, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Song and Dance Group will perform in the library beginning at 5:15 p.m. Following the welcome performance, Yolanda Machado — Longhouse Director at Peninsula College and Assistant to the College President on Indigenous Affairs — will speak about her Makah ancestry.
The Lower Elwha Tribe Song and Dance Group is comprised of Lower Elwha Klallam tribal and community members. Funded by a Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, grant, the group looks to provide positive cultural teachings to youth and opportunities to practice their culture.
Machado first created her presentation, “My Makah Ancestry,” out of a need to provide a brief introduction of her native cultural background to her colleagues and students at South Puget Sound Community College. Machado was often asked to speak to college classes about the whaling issue that developed in the late 1990s, concerning the Makah Tribe and their 1855 Whaling Treaty. (The Makah Tribe’s exercise of these Treaty rights resulted in a successful whale hunt in 1999.)
“Many people didn’t even know where the Makah Tribe was located, Machado said.
In 2018, the Port Angeles City Council proclaimed the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The proclamation’s purpose is to “promote tolerance, understanding and friendship, and to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination stemming from colonization.”