By Kalvin Valdillez, photos courtesy of Dom Joseph and Faith Iukes
For over 50 years, the Daybreak Star Cultural Center at Discovery Park has been a space for local Native Americans to connect and celebrate their culture. Whether gathering to attend their annual powwow or Indigenous People’s Day celebration, or perhaps visiting art exhibits or attending one of their many cultural events throughout the year, Natives of all ages, and from multiple tribes across the nation, have shared laughs, stories, tears, traditions, artwork and meals with one another at Daybreak Star. The cultural center has earned a special place in the hearts of many.
The Daybreak Star Cultural Center is headquarters to the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 1970, when a collective of over 100 urban Seattle Natives reclaimed Indigenous land near the Magnolia neighborhood, which would then become Discovery Park. Over the years, the non-profit has provided an array of services and resources to Natives living in the Seattle area, including outdoor pre-school education.
Due to the pandemic, people haven’t had the opportunity to gather at the cultural center as frequently as they once had prior to COVID, especially for cultural events. However, that did not stop the organization from doing what they do best, and have been doing for over a half-a-century, and that’s connect Indigenous people with each other to celebrate our culture and share our way of life.
Last summer, the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation announced a new project aimed to reach as many reservations and Indigenous homelands as possible, bringing that signature Daybreak Star experience to your home. Via the internet, the newly established Daybreak Star Radio Network brings music, stories, news and on-air interviews, podcasts and conversations to Indigenous people throughout the world.
The online radio station is perfect to listen to while on your daily commute, at work, exercising, studying, or simply doing chores about the house. It features all genres of music including R&B, hip-hop, country, EDM, rock and funk, as well as traditional music such as flute, drums, coastal and powwow. Daybreak Star Radio not only welcomes, but encourages Indigenous artists to submit their art to the station to be featured on-air, helping creative Natives gain more exposure and expand their fan base.
The Daybreak Star Radio Network enlisted Lummi tribal member, DJ Big Rez to host a daily hip-hop and EDM session, as well as DJ Abe Cortez who hosts a Latin rock, freestyle, R&B and dance two-hour slot every Sunday evening. And Seattle-based creative, Luminous Pariah, plays ‘classic Chicago house music with new sounds from Europe and the Americas’.
Tulalip’s own Dominick Joseph, of The Dom Joseph Podcast fame, was named the Daybreak Star Radio Network’s Audio Producer and has been featured on KIRO 7 News and Q13 Fox News to talk about his work with the online radio network. Dom has a strong passion of amplifying the Indigenous voice, and helping Native artists and creatives share their stories and experiences through their choice of medium.
“Daybreak Star Radio Station is more than just storytelling and music,” he shared. “It is a non-profit organization that provides a platform and opportunity for Native American artists to showcase their art to the world. Having this space allows Native Americans across the country to be portrayed the way we would like to be represented in media, instead of the mold made for us by society. We here at Daybreak Star Radio are Indigenizing the airwaves one piece at a time.”
Dom is not the only Tulalip tribal member involved in the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation’s latest project. Social media influencer, Faith Iukes, recently signed-on as the youngest on-air personality and will begin hosting her own show on the radio network in the near future. Faith’s show will be geared toward the Indigenous youth of the world and she will play music from some of her favorite Native musicians.
Faith expressed, “I believe that not only are we still here, we are thriving. In film, news, fashion, radio, in all forms of media really. We are a part of this world today, not some relic of a past culture. We are growing, evolving and surviving. We aren’t going to disappear.”
The radio station is active 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You can tune-in by visiting www.daybreakstarradio.com. Daybreak Star Radio also recently launched an app that is available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, making listening on-the-go a fun and easy experience. For more information, including how to submit your own music, please visit the radio network’s website at www.daybreakstarradio.com.