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Our Logo

The NWCPHP logo is a soul catcher, a Northwest Indian symbol. It illustrates two bears keeping watch in opposite directions, representing physical and spiritual well-being.

Our logo is unique, causing some to wonder: What is it? The soul catcher is a Northwest Indian symbol. The version we use for our logo illustrates two bears keeping watch in opposite directions, representing physical and spiritual well-being.

Soul CatcherThis speaks to NWCPHP's and the University of Washington School of Public Health's dedication to improving public health.

Traditionally, many Northwest Indians wore small versions of the soul catcher around their necks and placed large soul catchers in the smoke holes of their homes to make sure family souls could not escape. This was, according to tribal Shaman, critically important to health.

If a soul were to vacate a body it could be replaced with disease. It was the soul catcher's job to catch the soul, keeping the soul within the body and protecting people against illness. Eventually, it became a universal symbol of physical and spiritual well-being.

Marvin Oliver, an internationally acclaimed printmaker and sculptor with work displayed around the world, designed the soul catcher in 1981. This soul catcher is a registered trademark of the University of Washington School of Public Health, to which NWCPHP belongs. It can only be used with the express written permission from the school.