Native American Elder from Celilo Falls to Publish Children’s Book
A new children’s book by Warm Springs Elder Linda Meanus, is set to be published by Confluence and OSU Press in June 2023.
Linda grew up with her grandma Flora Thompson and grandpa Chief Tommy Thompson near Celilo Falls, a mighty fishery on the Columbia that was flooded in 1957 by the construction of The Dalles Dam. Linda persevered through this historic trauma and life’s challenges to teach young people about the Indigenous ways of the Columbia River. Intended for young readers to learn more about Native American history through a first-hand account, the book is also a reminder that Indigenous people continue to maintain a cultural connection to the land and river that gave them their identity.
My Name is LaMoosh includes fact boxes that provide historical, cultural, and environmental context for Linda’s personal story. Hundreds of books exist about Lewis and Clark and their journey of “discovery.” This book balances our understanding of American history with the long-neglected voices of Indigenous people. Linda’s story is not just about historic trauma but also about resilience, perseverance, and reciprocity.
Linda Meanus states that: “It was an honor to do this book. People don’t know our history and I thought it was time to share an original story from the river, from a real historical site.” The book honors the teachings of her grandmother, Flora Thompson, who was a longtime advocate for fishing rights and Celilo Falls.
The book was done in collaboration with Confluence, OSU Press, and Dr. Katy Barber. Thank you to Meyer Memorial Trust for providing funding for this project.
LINDA MEANUS (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) is an educator; she shares her knowledge on traditional Indian foods at events across the American West, from elementary schools to the National Indian Child Welfare Association. This is her first book.
Confluence is a community-supported nonprofit that connects people to the history, living cultures, and ecology of the Columbia River system through Indigenous voices. Learn more at confluenceproject.org.
Oregon State University Press informs and inspires scholars, students, and curious readers by publishing works of regional importance and lasting cultural value. We extend and advance OSU’s land-grant mission by cultivating responsible scholarship, promoting creativity, and disseminating ideas and knowledge. In all of our work, we are committed to advancing equitable and inclusive publishing and encouraging diverse voices and viewpoints.