Dreams of My Ancestors

Stories of community impact brought to you by our wonderful volunteer storytellers, writer Tom Moore and photographer Jon Kaplan. “When I see my land, I want to sing. When I see my land, I want to cry.” * For millennia Jefferson County has been inhabited by the Coast Salish Tribes including the S’Klallam, Suquamish, Makah, Chemakum, Quileute, and Twana/Skokomish nations. Today, however, some historians believe the Chemakum people to be extinct. Naiome Krienke disagrees. Her heritage is S’Klallam and Makah, but her bloodline began generations ago as Chemakum. Her great, great grandparents and family lived on the lands ranging from Port Townsend to Hood Canal. As a young child, Naiome would hear from her teachers, “Oh no, sweetie, the Chemakum people are extinct.” As a young woman, Naiome desired to rediscover the narratives of her ancestors, and to make it known to indigenous and non-indigenous people alike that Chemakum are not extinct. They are here and have stories to tell. Now, in her 40’s, she has the opportunity to do exactly that.  Early this year, Naiome brought her vision to Jefferson Community Foundation (JCF). Inspired by her story and the legacy she intended to build, staff set to task connecting her with like-minded donors and community partners in JCF’s network of changemakers. The result was a grant supporting not only research into Chemakum history but the construction of a traditional community longhouse. All to, “bring the culture of the longhouse back to Chemakum / S’Klallam territory. To…

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“In Blue Skies, Out Grey Skies”

By Tom Moore Argus McEnerney’s sights are set on New York University. Admittedly, the 9-year-old Salish Coast Elementary student has time before pursing a college major in theatre but he is wasting no time, honing his passion for acting with Key City Public Theater (KCPT). Argus, and his enthusiasm for the theater, comes in no small part from the educational outreach that is an important part of KCPT’s mission. Collaborating with teachers and students in 1st-12th grade throughout Jefferson County, their goal is to help develop real world skills through play and performance. Skills like reading comprehension, self- and social awareness. The goal is for each student to learn “ensemble awareness”, says Resident Ensemble Artist Maggie Jo Bulkley. “Providing kids with a creative space where they can express themselves, and where there is a safety net so they can take risks and find their courage,” she said. “This helps them to “not only be better artists, but better community members.” Having attended KCPT summer camps and workshops since 2018, Argus is picking up on that groove. “I can be my true self and just be crazy and stuff,” he says of his experience in theatre class.” He also admits to learning some key social skills. “Once during a performance, I got a line wrong, but no one interrupted me. And that taught me not to interrupt. I’d been struggling with that.” Another skill learned through acting is how to find a place of calm in the face…

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Rhody Festival parade now set for August

By Diane Urbani de la Paz Thursday, July 29, 2021 PORT TOWNSEND — Blackberry and lemon cake with Italian buttercream. Spiced, gluten-free chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache. This is dessert — the ninth annual Cake Picnic — for the 85th Rhododendron Festival Grand Parade, now rescheduled for noon Aug. 14. Uptown’s East Jefferson Fire Rescue station, at Lawrence and Harrison streets, will be the starting point for a procession unlike any Rhody parade in history. For one thing, the fresh rhododendron blooms of May won’t be prominent on the 2021 floats, said festival president Lori Morris. The organizing committee is yet undeterred. Still, “we need more people,” said Rita Hubbard, keeper of the entry forms. So far, 28 applications have come in — about a third of the number in past parades held in May. She hopes for many more before the Aug. 9 deadline. Prospective 2021 entrants will find applications at www.rhodyfestival.org while information is available by emailing rhodyfest@gmail.com. So far, several parade stalwarts have signed up: local steampunks, midwives, kinetic sculptures, hardware and marine companies and the Kiwanis Club will sashay down Lawrence Street to Monroe Street to downtown. The Port Orchard Fathoms of Fun festival, Sequim Irrigation Festival and Washington state Daffodil Festival floats will make the scene. Port Townsend’s own Rhododendron Festival float will carry Queen Jenessah Seebergoss, Princess Hailey Hirschel and Princess Brigitte Palmer while the Boeing Bluebills serve as grand marshals. Missing: marching bands. School’s out for summer, so Hubbard and Morris are wondering…

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