Welcome to StƏČAS

Archival Paper, Acrylic Paint, Birch Panel

Pronounced “STEH-chas,” meaning “Place of the Black Bear” in Lushootseed, referencing the area that in English is titled Budd Inlet near Olympia, where the Salish Sea begins.

“Before colonial settlers came to our territories, all the places that have English names had names in Lushootseed. These paintings highlight the importance of remembering what those names were. The names that my ancestors gave to these places were often descriptions of the natural characteristics of the land. “bastiqiyu” translates to “it has wolves” meaning that you were likely to encounter a wolf at or near that place. “txsIaR ” translates into “Place of the Raven.” It is important to remember these characteristics my ancestors identified and to remember the language that my ancestors spoke.

In this time that governments and institutions are saying “land acknowledgments” before meeting and gatherings, it is very important that we not only acknowledge the land, but we acknowledge the language that my ancestors spoke and the individual characteristics of the land that they lived on.”

-Joe Seymour, Jr.