Celilo: What was it like?

Ocean Kuykendall, one of 15 teachers in the Mid-Columbia region to receive a $3,000 grant from Confluence Project’s Gifts from Our Ancestors, gathered 180 middle school students to hear Native American voices of today share how their culture, customs and the Columbia River continue to be a strong current in their lives.

“I want students to understand the legacy of Celilo,” said Kuykendall, “and the importance of the place to the tribal people, even 50 years after its death.”

With a goal to create a deep understanding and empathy of what it might have been like to be a Northwest stakeholder during the loss of Celilo Falls, each Traditional Artist, all of whom are a tribal members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, found their unique way to share that.

Ed Edmo lived in Celilo Village and was 11 years old when the falls were flooded. He helped students understand what it was like to be an “Indian” after the settlement of “non-natives” at Celilo Falls. Sharing photographs with students Edmo wove personal stories of the prejudices he experienced as a youth and told traditional stories he learned from his father.

“My dad used to tell me these stories at bedtime, “ said Edmo. “I remembered them all.”

Jefferson Greene, a community advocate, shared with students songs and stories that continue to be an important contemporary cultural practice for the Columbia River People. Students then created their own personal stories and transformed them into a visual art piece.

As a commercial fisherwoman, cultural anthropologist, traditional beader and food gatherer, Brigette Scott communicated many aspects of her present-day culture including language, customs, clothing, shelter, economics, and ethno-botanical (interaction between people and plants) uses of plants in the Columbia River Gorge.

Students will continue to explore native plants by writing legends, creating botanical paintings of the plants and molding their stories into clay.

In their Social Studies class, they will evaluate the social, cultural and economic impacts of the construction of The Dalles Dam.

“The kids were deeply moved by the stories surrounding the devastation of Celilo,” said Kuykendall.

“They found out what happened when the people of Celilo were relocated and how this affected their lives.”

Erika Rench is the Confluence Project education coordinator.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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