Greg Archuleta: Honoring the Ancestors

Greg Archuleta (Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde) talks about honoring one’s ancestors through traditional techniques and practices. 1:46.

Bio: Greg Archuleta is Clackamas Chinook, Santiam Kalapuya, and Shasta, and a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. As an artist and educator, he teaches about the culture and history of the Tribes of Western Oregon, including ethnobotany, carving, cedar hat making, Native art design, and basketry..


“So I think the reason that we continue to do these things, that I think is an important thing, is that we’re honoring our ancestors. And as we do that, recognizing that things aren’t stagnant, that things were always changing. So like as we do some of the traditional things we actually incorporate more modern contemporary kind of things, like if we were making a basket we might make something that’s like a wallet or something like that. Something that is a little more contemporary and people can see a connection to it. This still has a use today but you’re still learning those traditional techniques of how you gather the cedar bark for instances and how you prep it and all the things that go into before you even make a basket or make something with that material. It’s amazing that, you know, people do see these as old ways, of things why do we continue them today. But it’s amazing how when we practice these traditional ways and things like that people are recognizing that there’s still a connection of importance to what’s going on. Like here in the Willamette Valley fire was very important to our tribes and how we maintained like the huckleberries and the oaks and the camas areas. Now fire is being re-looked at as an important management tool. But that’s something that our tribes did for time immemorial, using those traditional ways.”

Related Content