Friday, February 15, 2013
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.
More like this story
- HRV softball team heads to state tourney for first time in three years
- Death Notices for May 24:
- Service Announcements for May 24: Douglas Waters and David Warrenka
- Pick of the Week: ‘Living in the Era of Mega-Fires’ May 24
- The Porch for May 20
- Columbia Center offers Summer Arts class scholarships
- HR Valley Residents Committee: ‘Long-term watchdogs’ celebrate Sunday
- Parkdale teacher wins ‘Math Excellence Award’
- Letters to the Editor for May 20
- Morrison Park: Yes to re-zone, but dig in first
I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge