The Oregon Trail of Tears & Other Hidden Native Stories

“Everyone is a Winner” by Don Bailey (c)

A Local Story conversation with scholar David G. Lewis, PhD.

Saturday, October 5th, 2019 from 11:00am – 1:00pm. At Washington County Museum: 17677 NW Springville Road Portland, OR 97229.

Washington County Museum invites you to a Local Story event with David G. Lewis, PhD. Lewis is an esteemed author, Native American historian, ethnohistory consultant, anthropologist, teacher, and a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Lewis and Stephanie Littlebird Fogel, guest curator of the museum’s latest exhibit This IS Kalapuyan Land, will discuss Indigenous representation in museums and the Oregon history that is often left out: the creation of reservations, the residential school system, termination, and restoration of Indigenous sovereignty. This traumatic period from the 1850s-1970s was neglected on our museum’s own original panels before Fogel addressed them. Lewis will share his research on the impact of these policies then and now and how people and institutions can address truth and healing today.

The museum’s Local Story series shares the stories of people who contribute to the living history of this region. Each presenter selects a venue which brings another layer of meaning to their message; Lewis’ Local Story will take place at the museum in conjunction with the current exhibit, This IS Kalapuyan Land, which he contributed to. The new exhibit re-tools the museum’s cornerstone historical display, called This Kalapuya Land, which was created over a decade ago. As viewers move through the space, they will encounter hand-written edits and annotations made by Littlebird Fogel to highlight errors, update language, and note important passages in the original content. The exhibit questions what information is presented as “fact” and how the museum context shapes what the audience learns. “Ultimately, I want to challenge the way we recall our shared histories,” states Littlebird Fogel, “and examine how biased narratives can be perpetuated through archeology and academic institutions like museums and universities.” Fogel also brought in contemporary artworks by 17 Native artists in order to tell the stories of Indigenous descendants who are contributing to cultural survivance today.

This special conversation will be a chance to learn more about essential local history and culture on an intimate scale with some open discussion time at the end. Refreshments will be available.

Local Story is a nomadic public program created by Washington County Museum to raise awareness about the diversity of people who contribute to the living history of this remarkable region. The program comprises a series of individual events organized in direct collaboration with community members, all of which revolve around the theme of locality, personal history, and the pursuit of opportunity in Washington County and its environs. Presentation locations are chosen by each presenter and serve as an immersive backdrop in the telling of their story.

Purchase tickets here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4333108

The Washington County Museum is open noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday-Friday &  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.