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Press Releases

Community Open House to Introduce Celilo Falls Memorial Project

October 18, 2010, by Aili Schreiner


October 18, 2010

Aili Schreiner, Project Director, 360.693.0123/503.381.0539

Community Open House to Introduce Celilo Falls Memorial Project

The Dalles, Oregon (October 18, 2010) - The community of The Dalles and the Columbia River Gorge are invited to an open house for the Celilo Falls memorial project on October 27, 2010. This free event will take place at the Erin Glenn Winery at the Mint in downtown The Dalles from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Project organizers from the Confluence Project and local community supporters will present the model for the memorial to Celilo Falls, designed by internationally renowned artist Maya Lin. Lin is well known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Those who attend can enjoy food and wine as they hear about plans to build the memorial at Celilo Park by 2012 and learn how the four existing Confluence Project sites along the Columbia River benefit their communities.

The event is being hosted by Lee Weinstein (LWA PR), Dan Spatz (Columbia Gorge Community College), and Dana Schmidling (The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce). "Cultural connections between [the communities of] The Dalles and Celilo extend well into prehistory," said Mr. Spatz, a longtime supporter of the Confluence Project. "Our communities have honored those connections, even in recent years, such as when The Dalles Jaycees helped build the former Celilo longhouse. The Confluence Project builds upon these connections to create an important window into the glory that was Celilo Falls."

The memorial to Celilo Falls has a special meaning for tribes along the Columbia River. "We see Celilo as a legacy, an icon, a cultural, religious kind of place. We want to keep that place present on the river. We want it to remain a part of us - the Indian tribes," said Antone Minthorn, elder of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and chairman of the Confluence Project. "Celilo is kind of like a stamp that signifies that the Falls are still a part of us."

A donation account for the Confluence Project has been established at the Wells Fargo Bank in The Dalles for those interested in contributing to help build the Celilo memorial. The Confluence Project has raised $27 million to date to complete the first five art installations and the restoration of the land at each of these sites. To complete the Celilo Park installation, an additional $2.5 million will be needed. When finished, the Celilo Park project will:

• Serve as a place of healing for the losses experienced by the Columbia River tribes
• Create educational opportunities for the community and visitors to learn about the history of Celilo Falls and the people who lived - and live - there
• Create investment and value for future generations in the Columbia Gorge and the four treaty tribes, recognizing the importance of Celilo Falls in history, culture and economy
• Stimulate economic development for regional tourism and community development, especially for The Dalles and Celilo Village

To learn more about the Confluence Project and Celilo Park, visit

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