Ocean Pavilion Design And Development
As an important element of the Ocean Pavilion design and development process—and in consultation with Colleen Echohawk, citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and president/founder of Headwater People Consulting—we’ve worked to bring Coast Salish voices into the process of designing the Ocean Pavilion, Aquarium programming and more.
Engagement has included hearing traditional stories from Coast Salish elders, hosting design workshops with tribal youth, visiting tribal cultural centers, inviting Coast Salish tribes to join collaborative projects in the Coral Triangle, and listening sessions with Coast Salish representatives and the Aquarium’s architects and habitat designers.
Coast Salish Art And Recognition
Ongoing collaboration continues to incorporate the intricate and beautiful Coast Salish line art form into the design of the new Ocean Pavilion. The Aquarium hired Asia Tail, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and member of the Urban Native community, to lead and manage the selection of a Coast Salish artist. An all-Indigenous committee selected local artist Daniel Joseph Friday, a member of the Lummi Nation, to create an installation for the entry of the Ocean Pavilion. The planned public artwork will welcome visitors from all over the world and honor the Aquarium’s location on Coast Salish lands.
We have intentionally and purposefully invited an Indigenous design team to partner with the architects and exhibit designers of the Ocean Pavilion. We know that the fields of architecture and design have not traditionally been career paths that Native people have had equal and equitable access to; it was a matter of equity for us to find other ways for Native people to be leaders and designers in this project. All participants have had to practice cultural humility and be open to new ways to understand planning design, science and conservation.
Photo courtesy of Dan Friday