Power of Place Episode #49

Inspiration Generation – Colleen Echohawk

What becomes possible when solutions to modern urban society’s most pressing challenges—housing the unhoused, corporate innovation, designing more beautiful places & objects—originate from the communities who have inhabited this place from time immemorial? Guiding us through this multifaceted exploration is Colleen Echohawk.

Currently CEO of the Native lifestyle brand Eighth Generation, Colleen’s resume encompasses city politics including a Seattle mayoral run 2021. Earlier, as Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club for seven years, she oversaw the creation of 300 new units of affordable housing.

Colleen spotlights today’s rising generation of indigenous government and business leaders as well Indian Country’s most admired cultural creators. She suggests that a more enduring and just society would be place-based. In the case of Seattle, this involves incorporating Native values including those of the region's indigenous Lushootseed-speaking Coast Salish peoples. Inspired by Potlatch culture, for example, Colleen challenges corporate leaders to reimagine established notions of prestige and prosperity.

Colleen’s mellifluous tales fuse with the harmonies of Black Belt Eagle Scout and the rhythms of Supaman. These young recording artists amplify the critical and ongoing dialogue between tradition and invention, a dynamic embedded in Colleen’s heartening life, work and stories.

"We talk in Indian Country about how we are trying to help reframe folks to say, hey; ‘we are not just in these museums, we are not just artifacts…we are actually living, thriving communities.”

- Colleen Echohawk

  • Host: Edward Krigsman
  • Guest: Colleen Echohawk
  • Sound Engineering: Daniel Gunther
  • Photography: Travis Lawton
  • Administration: Mary Mansour
  • Series music: Theme by Tomo Nakayama as performed Grand Hallway; Additional music by Andrew Weathers, Arx Duo, and Ryan Love.
  • Episode music: Supaman and Black Belt Eagle Scout