A fascinating Presentation and Walkabout with David Buerge on indigenous history in LFP

Monday, March 21, 2022

David Buerge talks about the history of the Lake Forest Park area

Story and photos by Janet Way

A very well attended talk and walk was presented on Saturday, March 19, 2022 in Lake Forest Park detailing the history of the indigenous tribes and geological history of the Lake Washington region.

The talk started out in the Commons at the Lake Forest Park Town Center and continued in front of City Hall, before moving to the shores of Lake Washington.

Who was Chief Seattle?

David Buerge is a local treasure and incredible historian. He detailed the extensive histories and relationships of the tribes to the land. He has published a book in 2017 entitled "Who Was Chief Seattle?"

Lyon Creek
He related many interesting facts such as the term “Salish” is not actually accurate to apply to the peoples of the Puget Sound, and actually originated in the Montana area with a native dialect there. 

Also, up until about 1903 there was a “Long House” settlement located near the confluence of Lyon and McAleer Creeks. And fascinatingly, about 600 years ago part of Mt Rainier “collapsed” into a massive mudslide that reached Puget Sound.

The native peoples here practiced many agricultural techniques such as burning to reduce weeds and allow for more grazing lands to attract game.

David Buerge is working closely with the Duwamish people on curriculum for schools to teach their cultural history and language.

Ken Workman, a Duwamish elder

As the talk progressed the group of about 35 intrepid Northwesterners wandered in the rain, down to the banks of Lyon Creek where we were met by Ken Workman, a Duwamish Elder. 

He spoke extensively about how he and other Duwamish members feel that the Seattle Area is “in their DNA” and that the connection to the land is very strong. They are "hunter-gatherer" peoples. He was born in West Seattle near the Point Elliot site where the original treaties were signed. (Treaty of Point Elliott — Duwamish Tribe)


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