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“Olympia’s Hidden Histories” connect us to the past and to our world

“Olympia’s Hidden Histories” is a collection of self-guided multimedia walking tours that make visible the stories of Olympia’s diverse communities, natural ecology, and connections to the world.

One year ago, Evergreen State College students in the “American Frontiers” program published four tours on the historic displacement of Squaxin (Indigenous), Chinese, and working-class communities from downtown, and the salmon and oysters from the Deschutes Estuary.

This fall, Evergreen students in the “Taking Back Empire” program are publishing three new tours on Port of Olympia connections to global shipping and trade, militarization and fossil fuels. The new tours will include 19th-20th century histories and 21st-century events. They cover such things as Weyerhaeuser log export contracts, climate change and sea-level rise, toxic waste clean-ups, the 2006-07 protests against Stryker armored vehicle shipments to the Iraq War, and the 2016-17 blockades of oil fracking supply shipments to North Dakota (during the Indigenous stand at Standing Rock).

Students who produced the three new walking tours on the Port of Olympia will speak on their projects at the launch, together with community members who collaborated with the project, and public and college officials who wish to express support. Participants at the launch and in the months following can walk the self-guided ArcGIS StoryMaps tours. These are accessible at Olympia’s Hidden History Walking Tours.

The ArcGIS StoryMaps walking tours collection is a collaboration of Evergreen State College students and faculty with the “Walls Tell Stories, Olympia” project, created by Art Forces and supported by the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice (the organizations that created the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural).


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