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Press Releases


September 13, 2012, by Aili Schreiner

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012



Aili Schreiner, Project Director, 360.693.0123/503.381.0539

Goldendale, Washington (September 16, 2012)

Who: Confluence Project, Maryhill Museum of Art, N'chi Wanapum Canoe Family- free to the public with the price of admission

What: Short public program introducing the exhibit, program, and performance by N'chi Wanapum Canoe Family

When: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, September 16th

Where: Maryhill Museum of Art, 35 Maryhill Museum Drive  Goldendale, WA 98620

Gifts from Our Ancestors Student Art Exhibit Opening September 16th with N'chi Wanapum Canoe Family

The Gifts from Our Ancestors traveling student art exhibit opens Sunday, September 16 at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, WA. The public is invited to attend the exhibit opening from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm. The N'chi Wanapum Canoe Family will perform traditional Native American dances  and light refreshments will be served. Gifts from Our Ancestors is an innovative arts education program that engaged over 2,000 students throughout the Columbia Gorge region. Fifteen participating schools and after-school programs in Oregon and Washington worked with Native artists, craftspeople, and cultural ambassadors on community art projects inspired by Celilo Falls. Finished student art pieces are showcased at Maryhill  Museum of Art in this wide-ranging art exhibit from now until November 15.

By connecting students with the cultural traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Columbia River region, Gifts from Our Ancestors not only builds bridges between the regions diverse peoples, but also facilitates the creativity of a new generation.

Over 150 examples of student art were selected for inclusion in the traveling exhibit (among  thousands produced  during the 2011-2012 school year). Selections will rotate as the Gifts from Our Ancestors exhibit travels to three  venues across  the region:

Upcoming Gifts from Our Ancestors exhibit venues:

Maryhill Museum of Art

September 9-November 15 (Opening event Sept. 16)

35 Maryhill Museum Drive

Goldendale, Washington 98620

Columbia Center for the Arts

November 27-December 31 (Opening event Dec. 7)

215 Cascade Avenue

Hood River, Oregon 97031

About Gifts from Our Ancestors

Gifts from Our Ancestors is a two-year program led by the Confluence Project, local artists, and educators to engage tribal and non-tribal students through multiple forms of artistic, musical, and oral expression practiced by Native Americans along the Columbia River for generations. Central to this engagement is Celilo Falls. In the Northwest, there are few places more powerful than where Celilo Falls once thundered into the Columbia. The mighty Wy'am ("echo of falling water") offered life-sustaining salmon and was the seat of commerce and cultural exchange for thousands of Native Americans for over 10,000 years. Celilo Falls was inundated by The Dalles Dam in 1957. By engaging students, teachers, and their communities in this rich history, Gifts from Our Ancestors will help to ensure the continued educational, cultural, and ecological stewardship of the Columbia River and its tributaries.

About the Confluence Project

The Confluence Project is a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest tribes, internationally renowned artist Maya Lin, and civic groups from Washington and Oregon to create interpretative public art, perform environmental restoration on public lands, and provide educational programming at the community level. Since 2002 we have worked as a small non-profit with local arts and culture groups, schools, and Columbia River tribes to complete four out of six major public art projects and restored public lands onsite- to international acclaim. Our final project, a tribute walkway to Celilo Falls at Celilo Park, designed by renowned artist, Maya Lin, is scheduled for completion in 2014. Visit to learn more!


For more information about the Confluence Project arts education programming, please contact Aili Schreiner at or call 360.693.0123.

Gifts from Our Ancestors is made possible by the generous support from:

Mid-Columbia Medical Center

Brot & Mary Bishop

Native Arts & Cultures Foundation

The Swigert Foundation

Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Cultural Trust

Roundhouse Foundation

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