Puyallup Tribal Member Amani Hayward
Puyallup Tribal Member Amani Hayward is a painting of my nephew. Amani is a proud Puyallup, Black, and Mexican teenager. He is a young culture keeper who speaks Twulshootseed, hunts, fishes, drums, dances, and tells stories. On the banks of the Puyallup river, this painting captures Amani Hayward’s first experience fishing the same river as his ancestors. Blue skies and lush greenery lining the river as it flows to the Salish Sea. That summer Amani would help Uncle Archie load up his fishing boat and learn the ways of his people. His reward would be holding a king after hard days’ work, casting and pulling their net all day floating on the water. Amani’s love for fishing comes from being able to support his people by providing one of the most valuable resources, food. Fishing is our way of showing respect to our community and those who fought for our rights to fish. It is our duty to honor our land and water, to keep our home sacred for our ancestors, for us, and for generations.