(Click on the image to see the rest of the photos.)
I am extremely honored and exited that the Suquamish Museum in Kitsap Peninsula, WA, now has a new exhibit called "From Treaty to Table" featuring 20 of my photographs.
I spent about 18months on my photo essay in 1999 and 2000 as my graduate thesis, about the Suquamish Tribe. The essay was focused on their modern practice of commercial fishing and their tradition as people of sea. Suquamish is a Native American tribe located on Kitsap Peninsula across Elliot Bay from Seattle. Seattle is in fact named after their great chief Sealth from the 19th century. Their name Suquamish means clear water.
It was only in 1974 that Federal Judge George Boldt ruled that the tribes including Suquamish in Washington State have the right to fish salmon commercially around their territories. In modern days, the fishing around Puget Sound is extremely challenged to say the least because of pollution, over harvesting and side effects from the urban development, for the tribe to maintain their fishing tradition as well as their economical resource. But the tribal fishermen like David Sigo keeps trying to make it work without losing his hope and identity.
I followed a tribal commercial fisherman Dave, who also worked at the tribe's hatchery. During the project, I photographed him at his work and his home. I can't thank enough for David and his wife, Jaya for having me around for so many months and let me photograph their life, so that the exhibit like this can raise more awareness in the tribe's culture and economical/environmental issue around the greater Seattle area.
Also I want to thank the museum curator Lydia Sigo for digging out my project from the archive and creating the exhibit.
The exhibit is open until the mid April 2014. The museum is located at 18490 Suquamish Way, Suquamish, WA98392. The hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm.