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Press Releases

Confluence Project Awarded Funding From The Ford Family Foundation and Wildhorse Foundation For Work Along The Columbia River System

March 24, 2014, by Colin Fogarty

VANCOUVER, Wash.- Confluence Project has been awarded funds from The Ford Family Foundation and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s Wildhorse Foundation that greatly increase Confluence Project’s capacity to invest in rural communities along the Columbia River system. Confluence Project Executive Director Colin Fogarty is thrilled with, “the momentum, not only for the completion of the Celilo Project, but also for ongoing Confluence programming for Northwest communities.”
The Ford Family Foundation has granted a first-time gift of $250,000 towards the Celilo Park project. Celilo Park will restore a public space of historic community connection and provide new artistic, cultural, and recreational resources onsite. Over the next three years, the project will invest over $8.2 million to install Maya Lin's 'Celilo Arc', redesign/restore three acres of land, replace/improve site facilities, and improve access to tribal treaty fishing. An annual 500,000 local, national, and international park visitors are expected, as well as over 2,000 local students, teachers, artists, and volunteers engaged in educational programming and an estimated 300,000 visitors online.
The Wildhorse Foundation has awarded $6,000 for the implementation of Confluence Project’s Gifts from Our Ancestors arts-based education program to students of Nixya’awii Community School, a charter school on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation focusing on Native American culture, infusing native languages into daily school life, and serving the tribal community. Gifts is a K-12 program that features artistic expression practiced by Native Americans along the Columbia River, highlighting place, identity, culture, and heritage. “The grant from Wildhorse Foundation will greatly enhance the connection between art, culture and history,” said Chuck Sams, CTUIR Director of Communications and advisor to the Celilo Project. “Art is integral in Native life. It is not viewed as a leisure activity because art is an expression of who we are as a People.” Confluence Project is proud to work with the Wildhorse Foundation to deliver Gifts and pleased to be bringing Gifts programming to this area for the first time.

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