Native American

The Indigenous Education Institute (IEI) is an Indigenous-based, non-profit (501.c3) corporation, based in Friday Harbor, WA. The mission of the Institute is to promote, preserve and apply traditional Indigenous knowledge to contemporary life. This includes research and educational projects of all kinds. IEI is committed to using Indigenous knowledge to promote and understand the importance of the interconnections of all things. IEI is committed to the restoration of imbalance and sustaining an ecologically sound environment.

IEI acknowledges that the earth is an integral part of a much larger universe. Stories are often told in the Indigenous world of the connections between Mother Earth and Father Sky. We are made of the same chemistry as the stars. Studies of Indigenous astronomies illuminate these connections and show the participation of humans in the universe. Our website:


Artist: Melvin Bainbridge (Diné)       Oil on Stretched Canvas

The Hard Flint Boys (Beesh Ashiike) are part of a Navajo healing ceremony. Their role is to perform healing rites using mud from the earth. In a semi-comical manner these warriors vigorously slap mud on anybody who is nearby with the aim of providing healing. They move together in a group, in a formation of the Pleiades, thus illustrating that constellations can come from the sky to the earth, the interconnection of Mother Earth and Father Sky.


Our gallery is privileged and honored to display the beautiful artwork of the famous Navajo artist Melvin Bainbridge (Diné). The painting displayed here is one of ten spectacular works of Navajo constellations that will enter the gallery in early 2012.