The 2024 Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series

Highlighting Indigenous Voices: Scholar and Musician Dr. Lyla June Johnston and Native American Artist John Halliday


The Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation is thrilled to announce Dr. Lyla June Johnston as the featured speaker for this year’s Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series to be held on Friday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. Lyla June is a renowned Indigenous scholar, musician, and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne), and European lineages. Her research focuses on how pre-colonial Indigenous Nations gardened large regions of Turtle Island (aka the Americas) to produce abundant food systems.

Lyla June’s presentation, “Architects of Abundance: Indigenous Regenerative Food Systems and the Excavation of Hidden History,” will highlight the connection between Indigenous land ethics, decolonial narratives, biodiversity augmentation, anthropogenic habitat expansion, and regional ecosystem design. She blends her study of Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives, and solutions to the world’s pressing issues.

Enjoy a complementary talk from Indigenous artist John Halliday. On Friday, March 15, at 4:00 p.m., Halliday, a Native American artist of Muckleshoot, Duwamish, Yakama, and Warm Springs Indian descent, will present “What Is a Chief? How Native Values Can Teach Resilience” at the Coupeville Library.

Halliday became legally blind at the age of 55 and says his Native American worldview, cultural traditions, and values, which have sustained Native tribes throughout history, long before colonization, have helped him overcome the challenges associated with losing his sight. Woven in with his personal story, audiences will learn Washington state history from a Native American perspective, and how that history can teach resilience.

Halliday recently retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs as Deputy Regional Director for the Navajo Region after serving as CEO for both the Muckleshoot and Snoqualmie tribes. His art has been featured at Lakewold Gardens, ANTGallery, and the Sacred Circle Galleries of American Indian Art under his artist name “Coyote.” John Halliday’s presentation is made possible with generous support from Humanities Washington.

Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series

Founded in 2016, the Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series honors beloved Whidbey Island teacher and community leader Trudy J. Sundberg and her lifelong commitment to discovery, exploration, and the exchange information, ideas, and opinions in an environment of respect and consideration.

“The Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series is committed to serving as a platform for diverse community voices and ideas,” said Christina Kourteva, executive director of the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. “We are honored to be presenting such powerful Indigenous speakers as Lyla June and John Halliday, and look forward to learning from their Indigenous wisdom, culture, and values.”

The Trudy Sundberg Lecture Series presentations are free and open to the public. The program is funded by community donations and is made possible by the continued generosity of individuals, businesses, and community organizations.

2024 Sponsors

  • Whidbey Community Foundation
  • Humanities Washington
  • Friends of the Freeland Library
  • The Inn at Langley
  • Dr. Gary Berner, DDS
  • Friends of the Clinton Library
  • Friends of the Langley Library
  • Goosefoot Community Fund
  • Island Ductless Heat Pumps
  • League of Women Voters of Whidbey Island
  • SaviBank
  • Whidbey Coffee
  • Whidbey Island Bank
  • Whidbey Island Democratic Club
  • Friends of the Oak Harbor Library
  • Terra Firma Wealth Management
  • Feather & Fox Print Co.
  • Whidbey Weekly

About Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation

As the philanthropic arm of Sno-Isle Libraries, the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation partners with individuals, businesses, foundations, corporations, and community organizations to fund innovative and inspiring programs throughout the Sno-Isle Library District and expand the capacity of the library district.