About the Creator & Acknowledgements
About the Creator
My name is Kyle Pittman. I am an American Indian of Nez Perce and Yakama descent.
I grew up on the Puyallup Indian Reservation in Tacoma, Washington. Though I have lived in Washington for all my life, my Indigenous roots are based in Idaho. My family comes from the town of Lapwai, known as the "Land of the Butterflies" in my Tribe's language. I spent the beginning years of my young adulthood in construction, going to a technical college and then working as a union carpenter's apprentice (local 129 out of Lacey, WA). However, I began to realize that I didn't want to spend my life in the construction trades. I decided to enroll at Northwest Indian College in the summer of 2016. From there, I went on to attend The Evergreen State College.
I graduated from Evergreen with my Bachelor of Arts degree in 2019 and I will be pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree at Evergreen with a concentration in Tribal Governance beginning in the fall of 2020. Currently, I am a student at George Mason University in the graduate certificate program for Digital Public Humanities.
I have chosen to dedicate this site to the topic of the Fort Lawton Takeover, an event that involved the occupation of a fort in Seattle, Washington in 1970 by American Indian activists. This is the 50th year anniversary of the takeover and I wanted to commemorate the event, my people, and my family. My grandma, Diana Joy Eneas, was involved in the initial occupation of the fort on March 8, 1970. Her experience has even been documented to a degree, which is noted in an exhibit piece of this project. Thus, I found this topic to be fitting for a public history project.
Acknowledgements for this Project
Though this project is not as expansive or intense as other digital projects that exist out there on the World Wide Web, it took considerable time to compile the information contained on this site and within the exhibit. One of the biggest things I have come to learn about digital projects during my time in this course is that they are not individual projects--even the ones that lack a team, funding, and sizeable time allotments, such as what has been produced here. The fields of Digital Humanities and Public History are collaborative in nature, drawing upon years of previous work and engagement of the audiences these projects seek to reach.
To this end, I would like to acknowledge the following individuals and entities that have contributed to this project in some way, shape, or form.
First, I would like to thank my ancestors and family. As has been noted several times in this project, my Grandma, Diana Joy Eneas, participated in the initial takeover of Fort Lawton in 1970. She was joined by my Grandpa and many of the relatives of my friends today. This gratitude is extended to my Mom. Though she did not join in the initial occupation, she experienced the results of that event and prospered as a result as she had a place to gather with other American Indians of Seattle in what is now the Daybreak Star Indian Center at Discovery Park. I would also like to thank my Mom for the time she gave me in her interview and the experiences she shared about our family. My Grandma passed away in 2016 and this project has given us an opportunity relive her legacy and acknowledge the fruit of her labor through her activism.
Next, I would like to thank Joseph Utzler for giving his time for the interview as well. I met Joseph during my undergraduate studies in the Native Pathways Program at The Evergreen State College. He quickly became a respected member of that community and has been a source of inspiration for me when it comes to remembering the importance of maintaining our identities--our Indigeneity--as Indigenous persons. He has gained a wealth of knowledge through his time spent with Elders and those of many different Tribes and paths and I am grateful he took the time to participate in an interview.
I would also like to thank my significant other, Hannah. She has constantly been, and continues to be, a source of encouragement and inspiration for me. She is the one who primarily hears my pitfalls, the challenges, and struggles I experience in life and with projects such as this. She has been the sounding board and editor for my ideas. And she has always been the consistent reminder that I should go to bed earlier than I want if I am going to end up with a quality project...to which she is always right about.
Liza Rognas is another I would like to thank. She is a librarian and historian at The Evergreen State College. I came to her with some questions about this project and even though she was under no obligation to do so as I was no longer a student at Evergreen, she dove right in to help me with resources and brainstorming. The conversation I had with her went a long way in helping me shape how I was doing the research and the greater historical context of the event I was considering.
Similarly, I would like to show appreciation for my professor in this course, Dr. Mills Kelly. As he is well aware, I faced some challenges early on with this project due to copyright issues. While I think I kept my cool in the emails, I was fairly concerned that I would have to change my topic for this project as the bulk of my exhibit items were no longer accessible. Dr. Kelly provided clear and thoughtful direction on how to resolve this issue, along with providing valuable insight on how I can create a quality project. Thank you, Dr. Kelly.
Also a shout out to The Seattle Times for allowing me to rehost an article in full, free of charge, as a courtesy. The process took a little bit, but it was helpful going through it to see what obtaining copyright permission is like and I am grateful that I did not have to pay out-of-pocket for the material.
And finally, I would like to thank The Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project and the University of Washington. Though these entities did not actively help in this project (and were sometimes an issue to work around), they made available much of the primary and secondary source material I could draw upon. Therefore, their previous work should be acknowledged.
Qe'ci'yew'yew (thank you).