Brigette McConville is an educator from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring. She shares traditional stories, traditional cultural information and contemporary native issues of the plateau and the Warm Spring and Wasco Tribes. She runs Salmon King Fisheries with her husband, Sean McConville.
I am a cultural educator from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring. I share traditional stories, traditional cultural information and contemporary native issues of the plateau and the Warm Spring and Wasco Tribes. I also have rich family fishing history and my personal commercial fishing stories on the Columbia River and its tributaries to share. I find it best to share my smoked salmon with the children while we get to know each other.
Class projects and teachings can include traditional/native plant identification, gathering techniques, basketry/weaving, additional fiber arts fiber arts and bead working. All of these nicely demonstrate my culture and are often done in a setting surrounded by traditional Warm Spring material culture and multi- media displays that I have made and developed over the years.
I have lived a very traditional lifestyle. Growing up I was able and fortunate to spend time with all four grandparents and some of their siblings. I come from a long line of chiefs and spent much of my summers with my grandparents learning our cultural ways. I’ve been fascinated by learning my culture as long as I can remember. Growing up, my traditions were passed down to family only. As my grandmother got older she was more open to sharing through documentation. Her grandmother told her not to keep it inside and share with who is willing to listen and she wishes she had shared more.
Students have a willingness to learn and know more and as I grow older I have a willingness to share more to understand one another’s cultures through education; we all have a history, a culture, language and tradition. When I work with students, I want them to feel welcome and realize that they, the artists and cultural educators they work with have roles in part of a living culture, and are part of a continuum of living history. Native Americans are part of that living culture, and are still here. Young people need to know that they are a part of everything around them; to be proud of their identity, culture, and family. I find beauty in everything and know the value of reciprocal relationships.