People of the Little Water


Steep forested hillsides slope to a wild, driftwood-littered beach. Cougar tracks lead to the lake, you follow them to a mound of sticks and reeds - a beaver lodge. Listen. A fish jumps. A loon chuckles. You hear canoe blades dipping into the water. Along a marsh, where a stream flows into the lake, two people in a long cedar canoe cast a fishing net. Smoke rises from the northern shore of ha-ah-chu, where a break in the trees exposes a prarie purple with camasblooms.

Welcome to Lake Union, known by native people as “Little Water.” Lake Union’s first people arrived about 5,000 years ago and found a bountiful place to put down their roots. They were a part of the Duwamish tribe called ha-ah-chu AHBSH or “People of the Littlest Lake.”
This material is adapted from Native Seattle by Coll Thrush, pending permission from the author.