Setting Sun Institute

Children of the Setting Sun Productions has produced a wide range of content addressing contemporary Native American issues through storytelling and sharing traditional knowledge. As we move further into this work, important threads are evident across Indian Country nationally, globally, and locally in the Salish Sea region. In particular, we find ourselves as an organization at the intersection of time and place, where intergenerational learning, oral tradition, territorial cultural heritage revitalization, environmental protection, and education, are all intertwined. In response to various calls for institutional collaboration and consultation, we have ‘Setting Sun Institute’ (SSI), a subsidiary of CSSP , working to develop both content and process.


We believe a deeper understanding of history and of sovereignty throughout broader society will lead to the greatest attainment of our inherent rights. SSI creates partnerships, content, and events that promote sovereignty, legal pluralism, and realization of inherent rights through education and cooperation.

Setting Sun Institute has three goals: developing a diverse, resilient network of collaborators: activists, artists, and academics, who prioritize a shared interest in indigenous rights realization education; conduct research using indigenous methodology to contextualize the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to the issues of the Salish Sea region; incorporate content from Children of the Setting Sun Productions into curriculum, installations, and public educational events.  SSI works from a human rights perspective within CSSP’s three core operational strategies: Public Media; Open Curriculum; and Networked Leadership.

Setting Sun Institute consults, collaborates, and creates with community partners who recognize their shared interest in indigenous rights education and realization, and wish to work together with this highest priority. Indigenous rights equal much in common with the public trust doctrine, and with the goals of many specific environmental movements.  We focus on indigenous rights realization as a process, and long-term understanding that can be reached in good faith by educating.  Setting Sun Institute works to promote and develop understanding that is apart from outcomes, to strengthen indigenous sovereignty, treaty, and inherent human rights, to the benefit of all.  


Setting Sun Institute


The Seattle Times Project

Under Our Skin

Under Our Skin is a Seattle Times project that grew out of conversations about how they cover race at a time when national and local events — the furor over police shootings, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, protests on college campuses and charged campaign rhetoric — dominate headlines. We had the chance to be a part of this great conversation, & to voice our Native American perspective on the matter. Here are a few videos that showcase our involvement. We would love for you to Enjoy & Share these powerful words.



In the link below we made a video, where we were asked to record a response on race, policing and equality, amidst the tragic events that happened after the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and a deadly attack on Dallas police



The Bellingham Herald

Through the generations, treaty rights sustain Lummi Nation and protect resources.

Editor’s note: Bellingham celebrates Coast Salish Day Monday, Oct. 10. The Bellingham Herald invited a representative of Lummi Nation to write about what it’s like to be Lummi today. It may surprise you that to be Lummi in 2016 isn’t that much different than living life as a Lummi in 1855. 

Darrell Hillaire.jpeg

The things our elders taught us when we were growing up were the same things that their elders taught them. And in many ways, our way of life is written into the treaty. The Lummi people have always stood for upholding treaty rights. In 1855, the Lummi people travelled to Mukilteo to sign the Point Elliot Treaty with the United States government. The Lummi leaders brought with them 10 Lummi youth, including my great-grandfather. At the treaty signing and every day since, those 10 Lummi youth were told, “don’t forget what was said at treaty signing.” 

Our leaders knew that these 10 children were the future of our tribe and that the lessons they learned on that day, the day they signed the treaty, would be important to sustaining our people well into the future. 


Center for Ethical Leadership

Darrell Hillaire accepts 2013 Legacy Award for his work with the Lummi Nation


2013 Addressing Lummi Nation

We Day