There is nothing better than when people from different walks of life come together in harmony, brotherhood and community. The Griffin School District believes this wholeheartedly, continuously creating ways for students to learn, celebrate and respect other cultures. It’s part of its mission to create lifelong learners who lead productive, healthy and responsible lives. This school year, fourth graders at Griffin School are participating in a very special event with the Squaxin Island Tribe. On Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at 1 p.m., the Griffin School is holding a Squaxin Island Tribe Flag Ceremony at 6530 33rd Avenue NW in Olympia. The public is invited to join the celebration and witness the raising of the Squaxin Island Tribe flag.

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Squaxin Island Tribal Flag to Fly at Griffin Schools in Olympia

When the Griffin School Board met in December 2023, they voted to fly the Squaxin Island Tribe’s flag alongside the United States flag and the Washington State flag. “Griffin School is on the ancestral lands of the Squaxin Island people who have been and continue to be present and thrive on this land,” shares Chris Rust, interim substitute superintendent. “We want to be good neighbors and acknowledge these facts and partner with the Tribe.”

Members of the Squaxin Island Tribe attend Griffin School and these students will be the ones to raise the flag on June 5. The fourth-grade class at Griffin School has been learning about the Squaxin Island Tribe and the Frog Dance, which they will participate in at the Flag Raising Ceremony. “The Frog Dance is a Squaxin dance that was chosen by the Tribe as a dance that can be learned easily,” explains Rust. “The Tribe is honoring our students by inviting them (and all of us) to dance with them as we move from the playground to the flag pole.”

Dignitaries who will be in attendance include Kris Peters, chairman of the Squaxin Island Tribe; Director Tesa Frevers and representatives of the Squaxin Tribal Council. They have also invited Patti Kinswa-Gaiser, chairwoman of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Suzanne Donaldson, Tribal Council member for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, along with legislators from Congressional Districts 35 and 10.

Attendees will learn about the history of the Squaxin Island Tribe, experience drumming and singing, witness and participate in the Frog Dance and watch as the students raise the Squaxin Island Flag at the Griffin School for the first time. You won’t want to miss this historical event!

Squaxin Island Flag Ceremony
June 5, 1 p.m.
Griffin School District
6530 33rd Avenue NW, Olympia

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