Harvest Moon (Dorothy Brozina) 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee
Harvest Moon: Tribute to a Cultural Icon
At the June 5, 2023, OHS Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Harvest Moon – a woman of many talents – was inducted by the Olympia High School Alumni Association as a Distinguished Alumna. This honor served as a recognition of her invaluable contributions to the enrichment and understanding of Northwest Indian culture, its history, crafts, and the beauty found in tribal customs.
The Early Years: A Seed Planted in Artistry and Culture
Born Dorothy Brozina, a native of Olympia and a 1975 graduate of Olympia High School. She became known as Dorothy Christopherson in her senior year due to marriage. Later, adopting the name Harvest Moon, she embarked on a journey of discovery and self-expression that found its inspiration throughout her early education.
In those formative years, Dorothy nurtured a profound appreciation for art, particularly through her participation in swimming and her enjoyment of art classes, experiences that would later shape her diverse career. She credits her teachers from grade school to high school by saying “I can go through every single teacher from Garfield and L.P. Brown, to Jefferson, to Oly. And it was because of that strong foundation and tools that the teachers taught me that I have kept in my pockets and used as I traveled throughout my life.”
A Voice of the Quinault: Storyteller, Historian, and Cultural Teacher
As Harvest Moon, she blossomed into a renowned figure in the cultural landscape of the Northwest, grounding her identity in the rich traditions of the Quinault Indian Tribe. As a storyteller, historian, and cultural teacher, Harvest became a custodian of the tribal tales, rituals, and customs, weaving them into narratives that resonated deeply with audiences far and wide.
Not only did she revive the enchanting tales of her tribe, but Harvest also endeavored to preserve the Chinook Jargon, a language developed by her great-grandfather as a communication tool with white traders. Despite the diminishing usage of the language over generations, Harvest Moon has embarked on a mission to ensure its survival, passing down the linguistic knowledge that binds the community to its ancestral roots. As Harvest gratefully said during her acceptance remarks, “It's quite an honor to present my culture these last four decades to thousands and thousands of children”. She went on to say how proud she has been to serve as a role model to children, regardless of their heritage.
A Prominent Figure in the World of Art: Distinguished Basket Weaver and Actress
Harvest Moon's artistic pursuits did not confine her to the world of storytelling. Since 2007, she has been recognized as a distinguished basket weaver, a craft where her adept hands transform raw materials from the natural environment into exquisite, traditional native items, each basket telling a story of its own.
Her artistic repertoire expanded further into the realms of film and television, with an impressive career since the early 1990s. Garnering an Emmy nomination for her captivating performances, Harvest Moon's artistry graced popular television series such as "Northern Exposure".
Harvest Moon also served on the Washington State Commission for the Humanities in 2004 and 2005.
A Final Message for Future Generations
While accepting her award in front of several 2023 OHS soon-to-be graduates, Harvest had these final words of encouragement… “And for these young ones who are just starting to paddle out there in the real world, just follow your heart. Because if you follow your heart, it will take you to worlds that you could never imagine.” Harvest, your fellow OHS classmates thank you for following your heart and making us all proud with your lifetime journey of achievement.