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Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place

(Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Winner of the 2008 Washington State Book Award for History/Biography

In traditional scholarship, Native Americans have been conspicuously absent from urban history. Indians appear at the time of contact, are involved in fighting or treaties, and then seem to vanish, usually onto reservations. In Native Seattle, Coll Thrush explodes the commonly accepted notion that Indians
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by University of Washington Press
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coll thrush does a really thorough job of chronicling a native history of seattle that is directly linked to ongoing dispossession/expropriation. i think it's especially remarkably written given how easily native iconography has been appropriated for settler place-story in seattle, in hippie/environmental movements, etc. – thrush points this out specifically and takes care to distinguish between appropriations and reclamations of seattle's indigenous past/present. 🌊recommended reading🌊 ...more
Eldan Goldenberg
A beautiful book that powerfully illustrates its key claim: that the Native history of Seattle may be dramatically changed and challenged, but it's neither past nor complete. A few things I particularly appreciated:

* The vivid description of the multi-ethnic Seattle of the early pioneer days. It made me wish that hadn't been wiped out, and wonder what kind of hybrid culture could have emerged in a Seattle or a Vancouver that had allowed it to keep flourishing.
* A clear sense of how the contempor
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Some excellent research and some fine writing make this a highly educational and entertaining guide to Seattle's indigenous history. A copy should be issued to all residents and visitors. The "Atlas of Indigenous Seattle," included as an appendix, is well-worth the cost of the entire book just on its own. The Atlas includes over 100 native place-names around the city, and even a quick guide to Whulshootseed pronunciation for all of us cheechakos. Highly recommended! ...more
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Stumbled upon this book at the Seattle Public Library while visiting the city, and it really spoke to my recent interest in the experiences of the Aboriginal Peoples of the Pacific Northwest - especially the Coat Salish. The book was fascinating, detailing the experiences, for better or for worse, of the original denizens of the Seattle area. The author has done some very detailed research, and has written an engaging account. Very glad I found and read this!
Kyle Sullivan
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is exceptional and necessary. Native Seattle explores the idea that Native America had been and still is an active participant in America's urban landscape. Of course, you might say... why wouldn't this be the case? But the assumption that Native Nations were a mode of the past and that they were mutually exclusive to America's new Euro-based cities, destined to vanish away, is so ingrained as an element of racism in America's place-story as to be taken as fact.

Native Seattle uses the Emer
Michelle Reissig
I think everyone living in Seattle should read this book to understand the history of so many of the places and institutions that we view as fixed but also to start to think critically about the use of indigenous imagery and stories that are so common in the region. It's a little more academic but for anyone familiar with academic historical writhing or has the patience for academic writing in general, it's a very accessible read. ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-rr, non-fiction
I knew very little about the history of Seattle and the history of Native Americans in this area. This book was a really good introduction to both. I'd like to follow this up with some history that is told from more of a Native American perspective, but this definitely laid some good groundwork for me and gave me some ideas about where to go next in learning more. ...more
Josephine Ensign
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent narrative history of the lived experiences of Native people in Seattle. It helped me understand my city in a much deeper and more thorough way. I highly recommend this book.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Incredibly well-researched! This book is a goldmine of information, and an excellent jumping-off point for anyone wanting to learn more about the native history of the City of Seattle.
Katie Lynn
May 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Not at all what I expected, but a slight perspective adjuster.

William Kittredge: "Having a "sense of self" means possessing a set of stories about who we are and with whom and why."

Nicholas Vela
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and wonderful book on history and how it can transform and distort the past in and of itself.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These are stories that need to be told, but also that need to be heard or read.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for any Pacific Northwesterner looking to learn about the place where they live. While this is mostly a history book, the author is successful in showing how the Native American communities in and around Seattle have evolved with and been forced to evolve by the non-native communities. The author is not a Native American, but is forthright about that, and has engaged with many of the local tribes in his scholarship.
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This is an important book about Seattle. Unfortunately, I do not think it is a "book" but rather an academic paper that has been published for general readership. It is dense and could be more readable. Well-researched and very thorough, Coll Thrush tried his best to bring the history of tribes in the Seattle area (and beyond as he explains) over the last 150 some-odd years, starting with before the Denny party landed at Alki.

For me, it was refreshing to hear so much effort put into telling the
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
My knowledge of Northwest History has always been sketchy, and the role of Native people in that history even more so.
I really like this book because it describes a complicated issue as complicated, and tries to present a variety of narratives (in the title, he talks about histories in the plural) about the role that Native people have played in the Seattle area.
Throughout, however, his explicitly stated goal is to challenge the so called "myth of tha vanishing indian", which is perhaps the foun
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Thrush's main task is two dispel two pervasive myths that "haunt" the city of Seattle and--arguably--locales around the country: that Native Americans are doomed to "vanish;" and that urban and Indian are mutually exclusive terms and experiences. He covers large swaths of the city's history (from before the arrival of the Denny party in 1851 to the early 2000s), at times shortening stories that could've better explained his case. But, in the same breath, he is not afraid to present the relations ...more
Oct 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Loved it. What an interesting view of Seattle's history. I can't wait to go back to Seattle and look at some of the places I read about. This may not be as interesting to someone who isn't interested in history...but it is well written. I think if you were from Seattle or lived in Seattle or even visited Seattle a lot, this book would be of interest. I even read the appendix and notes. Anyway, I did have to read it for school, but really enjoyed it. It was not a chore! ...more
As much an intellectual history of the construction of Seattle as an idea as it is the history of the landscape on which the city sits, the changing ownership of that land, or a restoration of urban Indians in the face of the myth of the "vanishing Indian." The entirely separate "Atlas of Indigenous Seattle" section of maps in the back of the book displays some truly virtuoso scholarship. If one is curious about the history of Seattle, this strikes me as an excellent place to start. ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent history of Seattle, and of the shifting demographics of the city over time. Thrush chronicles Seattle's historical development, with major events and eras in the city's history reconsidered through a lens of racial politics. The most illuminating history of Seattle I have read, though the book does unfortunately lose steam in the final few chapters. Every city deserves a history like this. ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it

A really interesting, well written, and well researched look at how Native American history continued in Seattle despite the growth of an urban landscape and tradition. I would have liked more on the post WWII Seattle native, especially since many of these people are still available for interviews. This story is Seattle specific but has clear connections to other American cities.
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, in depth unwinding of the founding of Seattle. Coll resets the default narrative of the Puget Sound (Salt Water) by reclaiming and restoring the indigenous presence and voice to its rightful place. Especially compelling is the atlas he has included. I love seeing the place names and the meaning of those places as described by the original inhabitants.
Oct 01, 2007 is currently reading it
Barely begun, but the early history of the Native American settlements taken over by what became the City of Seattle is incredibly interesting. I was raised near Seattle and lived there for a number of years; none of this information was taught in school!
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: northwest
I appreciated this different view of the role of Indians in Seattle's history. I was especially interested in the account of Seattle's earliest years and how intertwined the settler and Native communities were. ...more
Jun 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: us-history
Everyone who loves Seattle should read this book.
Makes you think differently about the people around you as you walk around town, the places you go, even the words you use.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very interesting History of Seattle, from both the "white man" perspective and equal treatment from the "Indian" perspective.
Oct 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: started-reading
good so far. It was an academic piece, but reads fairly well. It supposedly will connect the modern seattlite with the history of the place
Jul 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Amazing history and don't miss the great maps showing original seattle names. ...more
Sep 10, 2009 is currently reading it
pinpoints the location of hidden freshwater springs around town
Aalap Chikhalikar
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Excellent research - was great to learn about Seattle history through this book. But could have been more readable.
Interesting but long winded and a little repetative
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