Confluence Programming Goes Online
Confluence had planned a busy spring and early summer this year of Story Gatherings, classroom programs, student field trips, a volunteer work party, a Tribal canoe race, and, finally, Field School road trips for educators to visit Indigenous communities throughout the Columbia River system. Like so many events, all of that had to canceled, postponed, or retooled due to COVID-19. We suddenly found ourselves learning the technical intricacies of Zoom meetings and live-streaming. As challenging as this transition as been, it has also been inspiring to have the opportunity to reach more people online and include Indigenous voices we may not have otherwise been able to because of distance and busy schedules.
The result was a new series called Confluence Conversations with some amazing speakers. Thanks to them for lending us their time and insights. If you didn’t get a chance to join us live, check out the recordings of Voices of Family in Land and Sky, What Does It Mean To Be American?, and Parallel Lives.
We ended the season with the Confluence Field School in June and July with a diverse group of educators from across Oregon and Washington. Originally planned as a road trip to meet with Tribal leaders and tradition keepers, we instead held these gatherings fully online. These were powerful, in-depth discussions. Thank you to our speakers: Elizabeth Woody (Warm Springs), David Harrelson (Grand Ronde), Christine Dupres (Cowlitz), Linda Meanus (Warm Springs/Celilo), Tony Johnson and Sam Robinson (Chinook Indian Nation).
Look for a new season of online public events and learning opportunities this fall and next year. For the foreseeable future, all of Confluence’s public and educational programming will be online. Onward!
Thanks to the Cowlitz Tribe Arts and Education Fund and to these other generous sponsors:
Emily Georges Gottfried Fund of OJCF
Meyer Memorial Trust
The Collins Foundation
The Oregon Community Foundation
Warm Springs Water Crisis Continues, You Can Help
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs has been under emergency disaster declaration since May 2019 due to a water line break. Many are without safe tap water and some with no running water at all. You can read more here.
You can also help! The MRG Foundation has set up the Chúush Fund to assist during this crisis. Donate here.
Confluence Bird Blind Refinished
One of our primary responsibilities at Confluence is to conserve and maintain this extraordinary series of installations along the Columbia River system. Public art needs care! The closure of the Sandy River Delta, near Troutdale, Oregon due to COVID-19, offered the opportunity to give the Confluence Bird Blind by Maya Lin a good cleaning and refinishing. Thanks to Paul Watts and WB Family Construction and Graffiti Removal Services! Thanks also to the Thomas Lauderdale and Jordan Schnitzer Confluence Art Endowment at the Oregon Community Foundation for making this possible.
Sadly, the Sandy River Delta remains closed due to COVID-19. But our partners at the US Forest Service are monitoring the situation closely. Find out which spots in the Columbia River Gorge are open or closed by going to Ready, Set, Gorge! and always come with a Plan B.