Category Archives: Native American

Warm Springs Bead Artist and OSU Alumnus Brigette Whipple to Present at OSU’s Valley Library

beadingJoin Brigette Whipple, an OSU alumnus and renowned beading artist from Warm Springs, will be doing a presentation on her beading craft on Monday, April 20, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Valley Library’s Willamette Industries seminar rooms. Joining Brigette will be her apprentice, Sharlayne Garcia. The presentation is part of “Oregon Is Indian Country” exhibit current on display during April in the Valley Library. Other components of the exhibit are on display at the Corvallis Benton County Public Library and the Benton County Historical Society in Philomath.

For more information, contact Larry Landis at 737-0540.

Learn more about the Oregon is Indian Country exhibit.

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs & Oregon State University sign new MOU


Yesterday, Tribal Council members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and leaders of Oregon State University signed a new memorandum of understanding, renewing and expanding their partnership. The day was full of presentations, sharing, and personal stories, culminating with the signing of the new MOU.

Council members visited the Archives in the morning and poster-sized versions of some of our photos were on display throughout the library. Tribal Council Chairman Ron Suppah found a connection to one displayed on the 5th floor: he was in the picture! What did he see?

suppah1.jpg4-H boys at the winter feed lot, located at the Warm Springs Agency

Beyond this personal connection, Suppah reflected on the larger connection between the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and OSU. “Where this journey began was when the federal government built The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River. Celilo Falls was a major fishing area, and when they closed the gates on The Dalles, we lost that fishing site, and the tribes demanded compensation for that.” The Tribes took this money (over $1 million) and commissioned OSU to conduct a study of tribal resources. Suppah says “The Oregon State study set the course for us as a tribal government.” You can find a copy of this 3 volume report in ScholarsArchive@OSU (Final report: Oregon State College/Warm Springs Research Project: Vol. 1. Introduction and survey of human resources, Vol. 2. Education, Vol. 3. The agricultural economy).

Change of Reference Room hours 4/6/09


Tribal Council members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and leaders of Oregon State University will sign a new memorandum of understanding on Monday April 6th. The day-long meeting will happen in the Valley Library, with a portion tomorrow morning in the Archives & Maps Reference Room. We will open at 10:00 am, so please delay your visit if you were planning an early one! The signing of a new MOU is an important act, one that deepens the 50-year relationship between the tribes and the university that began after of the 1957 flooding of Celilo Falls.

Want to know more?

What’s on the way?


Oregon Is Indian Country Exhibit: April 2, 2009 through April 26, 2009

Learn about Oregon’s Native American heritage with Oregon Is Indian Country, a traveling exhibit produced by the Oregon Historical Society in partnership with Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes.

Oregon Is Indian Country represents a groundbreaking project bringing all nine Oregon tribes together to present information never-before-assembled in one exhibit on contemporary indigenous cultures. Oregon’s Indian traditions will be illuminated by many art forms including native voices, historical artifacts, photographs and more, producing a powerful exhibition. Oregon Is Indian Country is currently scheduled for showing in several museums throughout the northwest, including The Valley Library!

To read more about the exhibit, visit the Oregon Is Indian Country website.

To inquire about hosting the exhibit at your museum or library, call 503.222.1741.

Northwest Archivists 2008 Annual Conference: New Frontiers in Archives and Records Management

Session 10: Breaking the Ice: Protocols for Native American Archival Materials and Archivists in the Northwest.

(submitted by OSU Staff Archivist Karl McCreary)

A provocative examination of proposed protocols for Native American archival materials from three different perspectives formed the focus of this session. The protocols emerged from a 2006 meeting of 15 Native American and aboriginal information professionals and four non-native archivists. They were developed in large part to encourage dialog between Native American and non-Native American archivists regarding the best practices for the culturally responsive care and use of Native American archival material held by non-tribal organizations. The Northwest Archivists board has committed to revisiting these protocols at every annual meeting for at least five years, a process that began in 2007.

The session began with a presentation by Linda Wynne, records manager for the Sealaska Corporation, who illustrated through stories from her native Tlingit nation the importance of the repatriation of Native American artifacts to tribal cultures and identities. Telling the story of artifacts from her tribe sold to private collectors that were later returned (after years of lawsuits) to form the core of a tribal cultural heritage center, Linda emphasized that Native Americans view their historical material culture as having real value in contemporary society, and “don’t want to see our artifacts as something of the past” by being inaccessible in a distant museum.

Monique Lloyd, the second presenter in this session and a member of the Ojibwe nation and MLIS candidate in the Emporia State University program, gave a basic overview and history of the protocols that included some personal thoughts regarding what she’s learned “working in two worlds” as an archivist/librarian. Monique voiced the hope that the protocols can lead to a greater understanding of the different traditions of information access between the Native and non-native cultures, and that these differences can be respected over time. Emphasizing further communication as the key element in this process, Monique described how a tribal member might answer a question with a story rather than a linear “yes” or “no.” This presentation seemed to re-iterate the importance of historical materials to Native American culture, which was summed up by Monique’s comment: “We belong to the property; the property doesn’t belong to us.”

John Bolcer from the University of Washington offered a very different perspective on the protocols in the third and final presentation in this session. Looking at the protocols from the position of a non-tribal archives, John expressed concern that the protocols as currently written challenge the autonomy of archivists working in Non-Native American repositories and museums. According to Bolcer, one of the major problems is that the protocols define key concepts like “culturally sensitive” materials so vaguely that non-tribal institutions are forced to regard anything affiliated with Native American history or culture as culturally sensitive. Bolcer coupled this concern over the lack of guidelines for non-tribal archivists to follow with opposition to the protocols’ central assertion that Native American communities have primary rights to all materials referencing their culture, rather than just those directly generated by them. In Bolcer’s view, this basic tenet seeks to “control what is studied and written about Native American communities” and threatens “the practice of free and open inquiry upon my own institution depends.”

Despite voicing serious reservations about the protocols, John ended with several suggestions for their revision. One of the suggestions centered upon defining the concepts of “culturally affiliated” and “culturally sensitive” in much more detailed and “nuanced” way and recognition of the fact that being respectful of Native American perspectives and knowledge systems does not necessarily mean adaption of them.

The common theme throughout all three presentations seemed to be that further communication and understanding between Native American communities and non-tribal heritage professionals needs to continue and be encouraged. All the presenters agreed that the Protocols have definitely helped in starting and stimulating the discussion about tribal artifacts and archival materials.

Chautauqua Program: Event at Heritage Museum in Independence, OR

Pat Courtney Gold presents “Innovators and Traders: Indigenous People of the Columbia River”

Pat Courtney Gold now devotes her time to creating art and lecturing on Plateau Cultural Art. The Wasco traditional art of full-turn twined baskets with geometric human figures and motif unique to Columbia River area was a dying art. Pat revived this art form, and her goal is to preserve the technique and record the traditional designs for future generation.

She has been an artist in Resident at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, New York. The Peabody Museum commissioned a basket from Pat and asked to write an article about her work and the Wasco basket collected by Lewis and Clark in 1805 for cataloging accompanying “Northwest Native Weavers: Honoring Our Heritage.”

Pat’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Highlights in Oregon include The Governor’s Office in Salem, Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, the Littman Gallery at Portland State University, the Museum at Warm Springs, the Portland Art Museum, the University of Oregon, and Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center.

Her program will show how like to days hot topics of international commerce, diplomatic relations, cultural exchanges and tourism are important to the northwest; it was just as important nearly twelve thousand years ago among the indigenous people who lived along the Columbia River. These civilized and prosperous nations developed a marketplace that, by the 1700’s included trade with Russia, Spain, England, China and America, yet their story is often untold in histories of the region.

Pat Courtney Gold, a Wasco native enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, discusses the rich heritage of cultural and financial commerce conducted up and down the Columbia River. Just as questions of sustainability affect modern commerce, Gold will show how native people’s relationship to the land provided our first environmentally friendly model of commerce.

This free Chautauqua Program will be presented on Saturday, May 10 @ 1:30, Heritage Museum. 112 S. 3rd St., Independence, OR.

For more information, contact Julie Baxter (503)838-4989