Letters of Support – Mercella Peterson

Hello my name’s Marcella,

I currently go to Ballard High school and currently in 9th grade. With my other siblings. Who are in the
1st, 3rd, 7th, and 12th grade all have been going to Clear Sky Annual Youth Conference at American Indian
Heritage Middle College High School. I found out about the Seattle Schools district plan to demolish this
school because of this conference and I beg you to reconsider to not demolish this school.

And why do you want to do this? To make way for a new facility that suits the demands of the 21 st
century? Don’t you know the effects that this will have on the children’s and their families that attend
this school or do activities here?

If you demolish this school you will take away so much, you will take away a place where people come
to learn and have fun, a place where they can feel proud of their ethnicity. You’ll take away their home
and potently tear apart their family. Not only that but you will ruin the artwork that a Native American
made and put time and effort in that means something to us and tells a story. You’ll be taking children’s
chance of becoming successful. They’ll have to find another school to attend and get used to their
customs and get used to different people. It won’t be the same because you’ll be taking away their
home and family that teach them some things that you can’t teach because you’re not us. You can’t
teach us our old ways and then have them pass down that knowledge.

If you do demolish this school this will be just another big impact of this cycle to stop. It’s just like
teaching a child to potty train but it has more of a significant value. It is good for us to teach our children
to survive in this day and knowledge but it’s also good to pass down the knowledge and traditions of our
culture. If you demolish this building you’ll be taking that away from us. Everything affects everything.

Why demolish this building if it gives so much to our children? It will help them succeed! How do I know
this? I know this because my sister attends this school. She’s had trouble at other schools because of
individual needs, but that’s one of the best things of this school, it focuses on the Childs individual needs
and encourages and helps them succeed. My sister is graduating high school next year because of this

If you have a child and you love the school that they are currently going to, you would understand. You
would relate to the parents that go to this school. That they want the best for their children. You would
understand why we don’t want this school to be demolished. Yes, it needs work on, but with everything
you keep working on it until it’s finished. Before I told you that I and my siblings have been going to this
place for the Annual Native Youth Conference and even though it’s only for three days, I and my siblings
feel so safe and welcomed here. For me especially it’s a place to get away from things and one of the
few places I actually feel safe and relate to other people. Today one of my siblings wanted to come early
just so we can be here. The group of people that volunteer here and the youth are a family. We get to
learn about our culture, to have fun, and most of all for me to be proud to be a Native American.

The people that volunteer give us indigenous knowledge, education, and culture to help us succeed.
They are really doing this for me it’s making me feel proud to be a Native American, stand up for what
I believe in, that I matter, that I belong (I don’t feel that a lot) and that I should be proud to be a Native

American. If you demolish this school you’ll be taking that away from children and their family. One that
go to school here and the ones that go here for the conference and other activities outside of school.
Not only that you’re saying that we aren’t as important and that we are different and don’t matter.

Think about when you were a kid, if you have any kids think about them and how you want them to
succeed. I mean sure we could find a place but we’ve put so much work into this that it’s not fair for
someone to come along and ruin all of our hard work and dedication. So if you would please reconsider
to not demolish the American Indian Heritage Middle College High School.


Marcella Peterson