Learn the story of Indigenous peoples, both past and present. At the turn of the 20th century, Edward S. Curtis began a decades-long mission to photograph Native peoples... people he mistakenly thought were on the edge of extinction. But today, we know his work leads not to a lost past—it drives us to a thriving present. What does it mean to be native, beyond the frame?

During National American Indian Heritage Month, join scholars and historians as they examine Edward S. Curtis and Native American and First Nations cultures. This conference will take place at 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 206-386-4636.

Library programs are free and open to the public. Registration is recommended not required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage at the regular rates. Please check back soon for the full schedule.

The Seattle Public Library will host a two-day symposium where we look at themes and concepts that deepen our understanding of "Beyond the Frame – to Be Native" with a variety of scholars, historians, and students in lectures, panels, group discussions and performances.

This symposium examines the work of Edward Curtis, while recognizing the need to move beyond the frame of his work. We will explore the concepts of authenticity in art, tribal sovereignty, environmental activism and Indigenous ways of knowing.


Friday, Nov. 16

  • 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Reception with keynote speaker Ken Workman, performance by Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers, spoken word by Delia Gomez, film screening directed by Fabian Romero and light refreshments.

Saturday, Nov. 17

  • 8:30 a.m. – Registration
  • 9 a.m. – Opening Session
  • 10 a.m. – First breakout sessions
  • Noon – Lunch and Plenary Speaker (Level 4, Washington Mutual Foundation Meeting Room 1. Registration is required.)
  • 2 p.m. – Second breakout sessions
  • 4 p.m. – Third breakout sessions

The Library's dynamic approach to building community that enriches lives includes programming that brings people, information and ideas together to respect and embrace the well-being of the people we serve. We celebrate Seattle’s many cultures by forming strong partnerships with community organizations.