Welcome to the inaugural issue of Confluence’s Voices of the River journal! As Digital Content Manager at Confluence, I have had the honor of acting as the managing editor for this publication.
Voices from the River is an accessible journal of stories, research papers, poetry, and art designed to elevate Indigenous perspectives in our understanding of our region—the greater Columbia River system—and our nation. This project is an extension of our work in public gatherings, education programs in schools, and our Digital Library, which features interviews, documentary shorts, photo galleries, and research papers on various subjects exclusively from Indigenous perspectives.
For me, it has been such a pleasure to work with the authors of all these pieces, as well as the artist Tom Greyeyes, who created the imagery. We designed the peer review process with Indigenous methodologies in mind, by holding meetings with all the authors together, so they could give each other feedback and build community along the way. I just sat back and watched them engage with each other—thoughtfully and creatively. We are also grateful for the Confluence editorial committee for providing valuable feedback on articles and on the development of the journal process itself. And thank you to the National Endowment for the Humanities for funding our first issue.
In the pages of this first issue, you will find poetry, first-person narratives, creative nonfiction, and research articles. You will learn about how you can bring the pedagogy of the canoe into your classroom or daily life. Throughout the articles, you will see the theme of ancestors always being present, even when settler colonialism tries to push them back into memory. The river and water run through these stories. We hope the pages of the journal inspire you to deepen both your understanding of and your relationship with this region.