June 19th, 2020

Beasley honored with ‘Enduring Spirit Award’

Congratulations to Fidalgo Island resident Janie Beasley, one of the Native Action Network’s 2020 Enduring Spirit Award honorees. The Enduring Spirit Award recognizes the lifetime achievements of Native women who through their commitment of time, energy, and volunteerism contribute to healthy communities. The issues they champion are varied and include: environment, education, youth and family, holistic health, continuation and retention of culture, preservation of treaty rights, sacred sites, and economic empowerment to name a few. Native Action Network will celebrate our awardees virtually on June 26 at the 16th Annual Native Women’s Leadership Forum.

An award tribute to Janie follows: “Janie Beasley is a pillar for her family and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. She is one of 10 children born and raised on the Swinomish Reservation, where she still lives married for 45 years with two children. Janie graduated from LaConner High School and attended Seattle Central Community College, Skagit Valley College, Northwest Indian College, and also graduated from the Leadership Skagit Class of 2007. She served in the U.S. Navy Reserves in the early 1970s. She has worked in various positions in Skagit County over the years, and for the Swinomish Tribe since 1979 – at the Health Clinic, Legal Department, Planning Department, as a Realty Officer, as Assistant Manager for the Swinomish Longhouse Restaurant, and in Tribal Gaming.

Janie served on the LaConner School Board for 15 years demonstrating her passion for education and the welfare of Native children. At the same time she advocated for her community on the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, and the Skagit Valley College Foundation Board & Tribal Leaders Congress on Education. She continues to serve on the Community Advisory Panel for Marathon Refinery, the Swinomish Planning Commission, the Protect Mother Earth Committee, the Native Studies Advisory Group for Northwest Indian College, the Young Life Committee, and the Leadership Skagit Curriculum Committee. Janie has learned to speak Lushootseed language and has been teaching it to children in the LaConner School District over the last three years.

As an honored Elder, Janie Beasley continuously assists with speaking, sharing knowledge, preparing community meals, and serving as an advocate to many in need of support or a strong mentor.” (Photo courtesy of NAN)

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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