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Beaver Chief

Rev. Fred Beaver Chief Jameson, 46, was a member of the Lummi Nation, a spiritual leader, musician, and social activist, who worked among Seattle's Native American community and also in the local art and music scenes.

He lectured across North America and Europe; he'd married a Swiss woman and was planning to move to Zurich. He was the SeattleSchool District's Native American liaison in the '70s. He led drum circles and made recordings of Northwest Coast Salish music, including the 1999 CD Red Cedar Medicine Circle Songs.

One of Jameson's friends in the music community, Sky Cries Mary founder Roderick Romero, said he was "the most significant native of this area that I've encountered. His whole purpose was to bridge the indigenous culture and that of what he called 'the settlers,' and try to heal the pain. His dream was to have a children's center where children could learn more about the indigenous people of this area.... He had a massive impact on Seattle, not just because he was a native but because he stepped out side of those boundaries."

"He was open to every religion," Romero added. "He didn't alienate anyone; he was always open to what anyone had to say or was feelng. He married Anisa and I. He blessed our houses. When Anisa was going through cancer, he was there for her. He was one of the most significant people in my life.

"He was planning on moving to Switzerland with the woman from Zurich he'd married. He was so accepted into any culture, I thought he'd be such a great person to speak for the States. He always had something positive to say."

In the local neo-pagan publication Widdershins, writer Amanda Silvers called Beaver Chief "a wise man, teacher, healer, singer, storyteller and all-around funny guy who is very serious about spirit."

Jameson also wrote the book A Handbook For Human Beings, in which he said about himself: "I am a bridge. A bridge to help you understand our culture and combine it with your own... NOT to replace it, but to combine it."

Jameson died of a sudden aneurysm on June 8 at the Queen Anne post office. Services were held last Wednesday at the Bonney Watson funeral home on Broadway, followed by a ritual burning of his belongings at the Swinomish Medicine House near La Conner.