One Place, Many Histories: “Thunderbirds Raised Her” in Concert, Lecture

Sunday, June 25, 5 p.m., at San Juan Grange in Friday Harbor

— from Glenn Hendrick for San Juan Grange —

The San Juan Island Grange Lecture Series, in conjunction with the Setting Sun Institute (Lummi), Students for the Salish Sea (WWU), and Whiteswan Environmental (WE) is honored to host an evening of music, food, and conversation with the remarkable vocal group WAGEEYAH-I-CHX-IYABAE, Thunderbirds Raised Her.

Thunderbirds Raised Her are sisters Billie Lynn Jefferson, Danielle Kili Kennedy-Jefferson, and Katherine Val Renee Kennedy-Jefferson, who were born into the two strong cultures of Lummi Nation and Assiniboine from Carry The Kettle First Nation and are descendants of Chiefs, warriors, and resilient women.

Their original song work is rooted in their tribes and homelands, and Thunderbirds Raised Her recognize their role in bringing awareness to world issues and inspiring other indigenous youth. The Jefferson sisters’ name has flourished from their support in the Lummi Nation, where they have gifted their voices to community events, spreading messages of unity, healing, resilience, and truth.

As part of a fundraising effort to support these young artists and activists in recording their first album, we invite you to join us Sunday, June 25 at 5 p.m. for an evening of dinner, live music, and conversation.

The evening will begin at 5 p.m. with a dinner of an entree, salad and bread. Please bring a side dish to share if you can, but we’d rather you be there either way. Words and introductions will begin at 6 p.m., followed by performances by Thunderbirds Raised Her.

Feel free to skip dinner and come only for the main event if you wish.

There is a suggested donation of $25 dollars for the event, but all are welcome to pay what they can. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

All proceeds will go directly to Thunderbirds Raised her for the production of their first ever album and music video in collaboration with the StyleHorse Collective, an Indigenous-led production team. With the production of their album and music video, Thunderbirds Raised Her hope to inspire a larger community with their words and songs.

Billie Lynn Kennedy Jefferson, Red Star Woman; Danielle Kili Kennedy-Jefferson, Little Sacred Bird; and Katherine Val Renee Jefferson, Sweetgrass Woman are musicians, artists, scholars, community advocates, and daughters. These young women have used their voices to comfort their community in times of loss. They have inspired change from Washington DC protesting a coal port on their own traditional land of Lummi Nation to Bellingham WA advocating for the protection of Sm’ogyet Yahaan, Lax Kw’alaams First Nation Territory in BC Canada from a LNG port. Together they have traveled across the west coast to indigenous youth conferences to share their story and spread wisdom of the compassion with which we must treat mother earth.

One Place, Many Histories: Thunderbirds Raised Her is the first in a series of Lectures connecting indigenous territorial history, cultural revitalization, and treaty responsibilities with regional environmental protection efforts. This series is part of the larger San Juan Island Grange Lecture Series, which strives to foster social and political engagement, create conversation, and maintain our historical Hall as a home for celebrations and programs.

Students for the Salish Sea is a student-led organization that works to protect and restore the health of the transnational ecosystem, and the Salish Sea bioregional watershed.

Setting Sun Institute, a subsidiary of Children of the Setting Sun Productions, works to develop a diverse, resilient network of artists, activists and academics who prioritize a shared interest in indigenous rights realization education.

Whiteswan Environmental, WE (One Mind for the Purpose of the Work) works across the international transboundary border to build relationships and provide education that supports intergenerational knowledge democracy amongst cultures who share stewardship of the Salish Sea.

The StyleHorse Collective is comprised of award-winning filmmakers, musicians and wellness advocates/presenters who work alongside tribal communities, organizations and individuals to harness the power of story and song for the greater good.

The San Juan Island Grange has been a community of growers, makers, and keepers since 1931. The Grange is non-partisan, and so is this event. All are welcome, including kids.

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