As Snohomish County proclaims November as Native American Heritage Month, the Stanwood Area Historical Society (SAHS) will honor the life and legacy of William Shelton (1868-1938), the last hereditary leader of the Snohomish people.
Shelton will be the topic of the next History & Hors d’oeuvres (H&H) program Sunday, Nov. 19, 4 p.m. in the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center, 27130 102nd Ave. NW, in Stanwood.
William Shelton was a master carver who introduced story poles to the Coastal Salish people of the Puget Sound in 1912. He proposed using story poles as a way to preserve the traditions, culture and personal stories of his people, which he incorporated into his own magnificent carvings.
The senior curator of collections at Tulalip’s Hibulb Cultural Center, Tessa Campbell, will present the story of this important figure in the history of her people. She will explain the significance of the vast collections gathered over three generations that Shelton and his family left.
Campbell will explain how his story poles and his talks for schools and community groups helped build a bridge to the larger Anglo society. “He invigorated enthusiasm for Native knowledge and way of life,” Campbell said.
That effort was later mirrored by his daughter Harriet Williams and grandson Wayne Williams. The heritage the family preserved is housed in the Hibulb Cultural Center at Tulalip.
Admission to H&H is free, although donations are welcome. For information, call 360-629-6110 or e-mail SAHSrh2@aol.com.