Vi Hilbert

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Vi Hilbert (née Anderson, Lushootseed name: taqʷšəblu, July 24, 1918 – December 19, 2008) was a Native American tribal elder of the Upper Skagit, a tribe of the greater Puget Salish in Washington State, whose ancestors occupied the banks along the Skagit River, and was a conservationist of the Lushootseed language and culture. She was named a Washington State Living Treasure in 1989, and received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, presented by President Bill Clinton, in 1994. She co-wrote Lushootseed grammars and dictionaries, and published books of stories, teachings, and place names related to her native region, the Puget Sound (also known as Whulge in anglicized Lushootseed).


Vi was born to Charlie and Louise Anderson on July 24, 1918 near Lyman, Washington, on the Upper Skagit River. Her father was a fisherman, a logger, and a canoe maker, whose canoe the Question Mark is housed in the Smithsonian Museum Archive.


Vi Hilbert died at her home in La Conner on the morning of December 19, 2008. She was surrounded by her family at the time of her death.[1]

The taqʷšəblu Vi Hilbert Ethnobotanical Garden at Seattle University is named in her honor.[2]


  1. ^ "Upper Skagit Tribe elder dies". Skagit County's News and Information Source, (Dec. 19, 2008). Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  2. ^ "Ethnobotanical Garden - Sustainability". Seattle University, College of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2013-04-20.