UW News

October 21, 2013

Native American longhouse breaks ground Oct. 25

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Drawing of the longhouse-style facility to be built at UW.

Artist rendering of Wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ (Intellectual House).UW

A groundbreaking ceremony for the University of Washington Native American longhouse-style facility, Wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ (Intellectual House), will take place Friday, Oct. 25, 3-5:30 p.m.

The public event will be held at the facility’s construction site in the N6 parking lot between Lewis and McMahon Halls on the UW campus in Seattle.

University leadership, as well as area tribal leaders, will offer remarks. Included in the program will be UW President Michael K. Young, UW Vice President for Minority Affairs and Vice Provost for Diversity Sheila Edwards Lange, and Wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ Committee Co-Chairs W. Ron Allen (Jamestown S’Klallam tribal chairman and chief executive officer) and Charlotte Cote’ (UW American Indian Studies associate professor). Duwamish Tribal Chairwoman Cecile Hansen and Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman will also participate.

Wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ, pronounced “wah-sheb-altuh” and known as the Lushootseed language name for “Intellectual House,” will serve as a learning and gathering place for Native American students, faculty and staff, as well as the UW and surrounding community. It will feature a “village concept” that includes two primary buildings and a central outdoor gathering space.

The groundbreaking is for the project’s first phase, the 8,400-square foot Community Gathering Building and the outdoor space. Both are planned to be operational for winter quarter 2015.

Donations and pledges totaling almost $6 million are supporting the design and construction of phase one. Phase two of the project will include further fundraising for the second building, a teaching and learning space.

Read more about the project on the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity website.