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October 1, 2024


6:00PM - 7:30PM


All Ages (Under 18 must be accompanied by a parent)


114 E 3rd Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926

Lecture: “What is a Chief? How Native Values Can Teach Resilience”

October 1, 2024

About this Program:
At the age of 55, John Halliday became legally blind. As a Muckleshoot Tribal member of Duwamish ancestry, Halliday says his Native American world view, cultural traditions, and values, which have sustained Native tribes throughout history, long before colonization, have helped him overcome the challenges associated with losing his sight.

Too often, our understanding of American history begins with foreign European powers “settling” the land—as though no thriving human communities existed here. Woven in with John’s personal story, audiences will learn Washington State history from a Native American perspective, and how that history can teach resilience.

About the Speaker:
John Halliday (he/him) is a legally blind Native American artist of Muckleshoot, “Duwamish,” Yakama, and Warm Springs Indian descent. Halliday recently retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs as Deputy Regional Director for the Navajo Region after serving as CEO for both the Muckleshoot and Snoqualmie tribes. Halliday has shown his art at Lakewold Gardens, ANT Gallery, and the Sacred Circle Galleries of American Indian Art under the artist name “Coyote”. Halliday lives in Steilacoom.


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The Event, At a Glance:
What: “What is a Chief? How Native Values Can Teach Resilience”
Who: Native American Artist, John Halliday
When: Rescheduled Date TBA
Where: Kittitas County Historical Museum, 114 E 3rd Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Cost: Free

About Humanities Washington:
Humanities Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to opening minds and bridging divides by creating spaces to explore different perspectives. For more about Humanities Washington, visit

About the Speakers Bureau Program:
In communities throughout Washington State, Speakers Bureau presenters give free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, spiritual traditions, and everything in between.

Their roster of over 30 Speakers Bureau presenters is made up of professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but also for their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. Hundreds of Speakers Bureau events take place each year. Find a Speakers Bureau event near you.

To reach as many Washingtonians as possible, Humanities Washington partners with a wide range of organizations, including libraries, schools, museums, historical societies, community centers, and civic organizations. Qualifying nonprofit organizations are encouraged to host a speaker.

The Speakers Bureau program is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Washington via the Office of the Secretary of State, the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University, and generous contributions from other businesses, foundations, and individuals.

More to Explore at the Museum

Lecture: “Big Apples, Big Business: How Washington Became the Apple State”

September 26, 2024

Amanda Van Lanen, a professor and author, will present “Big Apples, Big Business: How Washington Became the Apple State” on Thursday, September 26th at 6pm. The event is in-person at the Museum, free, and open to the public.This event is in partnership with the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau.

Neon Signs

Permanent Exhibit

Bright, bold, and beautiful! These dazzling signs from Ellensburg and Kittitas County’s past have been restored, allowing the neon lights to once again delight locals and visitors alike

Great Ellensburg Fire

Permanent Exhibit

This exhibit takes a look at the various causes of the fire, and the possible motives behind each. It features newspaper clippings, historic photographs, and even a clock that survived the fire.