Press Release

Sounders FC celebrates Native American Heritage Month

Burke Museum Web

Seattle Sounders FC today announced the club’s plans for celebrating Native American Heritage Month, which is recognized throughout November each year. The Rave Green’s plans serve as part of the club’s dedication to Fight Racism, one of the pillars of Sounders FC’s Social Justice Framework.

The Rave Green’s activities this November serve to continue the club’s season-long collaboration with the local Native American community, including supporting the Tacoma Public Schools Indian Education Program and working with the Puyallup Tribe in a cooperative investment to open a RAVE Foundation mini pitch at Boze Elementary in Tacoma.

The club kicked off activities last Monday, as it faced the LA Galaxy in the final home match of the 2021 regular season. Sounders FC wore its Jimi Hendrix Kit for the match, as a nod to Native American Heritage Month. The right sleeve of the kit features the salmon logo of the Puyallup Tribe, an original steward of land throughout what is now known as the Puget Sound. The tribe and its Emerald Queen Casino signed a multi-year partnership with the Rave Green earlier this year, which includes jersey sleeve logo placement. Fans can learn more about the significance of the salmon to the Puyallup Tribe here, from the tribe’s Historic Preservation Department.

Sounders FC is also partnering with the Burke Museum this month (pictured above), as both entities recognize the importance of Northwest Native history and culture. Located on the University of Washington campus, the Burke Museum is the Washington state museum responsible for maintaining state collections of natural history and cultural heritage. The relationships maintained between communities and the Burke Museum preserve the ingenuity, creativity, science and complex knowledge of natural and cultural resources. Tribes and community members are the experts in these areas, and those at the Burke Museum are the caretakers. Changing patterns of cultural dominance means actively involving communities in every aspect of its work, and the Burke Museum recognizes its colonial legacy and dedicates itself to learning from communities and building a more ethical and collaborative future together.

“I’m excited that the Sounders are building a relationship with the Puyallup Tribe and organizations like the Burke Museum,” said Polly Olsen (Yakama), Buke Museum Director of DEAI & Decolonization, who is also the museum’s Tribal Liaison. “We’re a cultural and science center and are honored to be a part of the journey with Sounders FC in community building, public learning and fostering respect for Native American and Indigenous peoples.”

To assist in providing the opportunity for all to access the Burke Museum to learn about the region’s Native American heritage, on Sunday, November 14, the club and Burke Museum are offering free admission to anyone wearing a Sounders FC jersey. In addition, the first 100 youth visitors will receive a free soccer ball, courtesy of RAVE Foundation. Parking at the Burke Museum is also free on Sundays.

During the month, Sounders FC is also continuing to partner with Intentionalist, an online guide to intentional spending that supports small businesses and diverse local communities. To support Native American Heritage Month, Sounders FC encourages fans to visit Off the Rez, Seattle’s first Native food truck and café, owned by Mark McConnell and Cecilia Rikard.

While the Off the Rez food truck travels to various locations – schedule available here – McConnell and Rikard opened the Off the Rez Café in 2019, located at the Buke Museum. Museum admission is not required to visit the café, which is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT.

McConnell, whose mother spent her childhood on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana, grew up eating traditional Native items like frybread at family gatherings and powwows. He and Rickard bring his Native culture to Seattle, employing Blackfeet frybread recipes and Indian tacos made true to form.

The Rave Green and Intentionalist encourage fans to learn more about Off the Rez and plan their visit this month. After visiting, fans can write a recommendation on the Off the Rez Intentionalist listing page by November 30 for a chance to win an autographed Sounders FC jersey.

Additionally, on November 14 fans can visit Off the Rez Café for a special treat, courtesy of Sounders FC x Intentionalist. Those stopping by the café on this date can enjoy a free Indian Taco or Sweet Frybread; simply let the Off the Rez team know to put on the Sounders FC x Intentionalist tab. With OL Reign hosting the Washington Spirit in the NWSL Semifinals at noon, fans returning to Seattle from Cheney Stadium can stop by for a post-game meal, or those watching from home can enjoy authentic Native cuisine by grabbing food before the match.

Sounders FC continues its #OurStoriesAreYourStories series this month, which originally launched in April during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The media campaign highlights the unique voices and stories of members of diverse communities to create understanding, empathy and connection. This month, fans can hear from Sounders FC supporters Polly Olsen, Kyle Shields and Sara Shields as the trio share about their Native American heritage, showcasing the diversity of experiences across the Sounders family.

As part of the club’s partnership with the Puyallup Tribe, RAVE Foundation worked this year with Chief Leschi Elementary School to create a series of demonstration videos highlighting the foundation’s “First Kicks” early learning program – a special curriculum aimed to help young learners move their bodies while developing cognitive skills, all using a soccer ball. In the video series, former Sounder and current team Brand Ambassador Brad Evans leads Pre-K students through lessons supporting the First Kicks curriculum, and these videos will soon be accessible for all children through and

Internally, the Sounders FC staff is taking part in its monthly Social Justice Speaker Series with this month’s guests including Madison Hammond of OL Reign – the first Native American player in the NWSL – and Polly Olsen, Director of DEAI and Decolonization and the first-ever Tribal Liaison for the Burke Museum.

For additional information on any of the mentioned Native American Heritage Month activities, please contact a member of Sounders FC Communications.



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