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December 2014 Highlights

Community Day with the FisherPoets, sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society and OFN.

OFN at Confluence “Day of Sharing” Adrienne Decker, OFN’s Assistant Folklorist, reports back from Confluence ”Day of Sharing” in Fort Vancouver.

Community Day at OHS with FisherPoets!

Come on out for a FREE Community Day featuring fisherpoets Moe Bowstern, Jon Broderick, Jay Speakman, and Cary Jones on Saturday, December 13 at the Oregon Historical Society. OFN is proud to co-sponsor this event with our partners.

Community Day takes place on Saturday, December 13 at the Oregon Historical Society (1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland) with activities from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Admission is free all day (10 a.m.–5 p.m.). Help OFN and OHS celebrate this important legacy with a day full of activities sponsored by Portland General Electric.

Community Day schedule:

• 11 a.m. – Special writing workshop with FisherPoet Jon Broderick (open to all ages; space is limited).
• 1-3 p.m. – Performances by some of Oregon’s finest FisherPoets including Cary Jones, Moe Bowstern, Jon Broderick, and Jay Speakman.
• 11 a.m.-3 p.m. – Hands-on activities for the whole family including knot tying lessons.

To learn more, visit OregonLive’s event spotlight for photos and videos of the fisherpoets in action.

The annual FisherPoets Gathering (Astoria, Oregon) celebrates the occupational traditions and stories of commercial fishermen throughout the Northwest with performances of poetry, prose, and song. Providing opportunity for reunions, activism, and community discussion, the Gathering is a key cultural experience for men and women involved in the Northwest commercial fishing industry and provides an opportunity to learn more about the danger and beauty of working on the Pacific.

OFN at Confluence “Day of Sharing”

By Adrienne Decker, OFN Assistant Folklorist

Lindsey Howtopat (Yakama) shares basket making techniques with teachers.

Lindsey Howtopat (Yakama) shares basket making techniques with teachers.

On November 1, the Oregon Folklife Network joined Confluence for a “Day of Sharing” at Fort Vancouver. Confluence is a multi-year endeavor to complete public art installations at significant points along the Columbia River, a collaboration between Pacific Northwest tribes, renowned artist Maya Lin, civic groups from Washington and Oregon, and other Northwest artists. The Day of Sharing offered a unique opportunity for native teaching artists to share their traditional art forms and stories with public school teachers to encourage classroom participation in Confluence’s “Gifts from our Ancestors” program. The Oregon Folklife Network’s participation was provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, which awarded OFN funding to document the cultural traditions in the Columbia River Gorge region and to partner with the Confluence Project to foster collaborations between traditional artists and educators.

“Gifts” is a collaborative program between K12 schools and indigenous artists from both sides of the Columbia River. The program engages students and teachers in experiential learning through native arts, promoting interdisciplinary curricula with an emphasis on cultural and ecological stewardship. This year’s Day of Sharing featured cultural artists and tradition keepers Lillian Pitt (Warm Springs), Ed Edmo (Shoshone-Bannock), Toma Villa (Yakama), Lindsey Howtopat (Yakama), Patricia Whitefoot (Yakama), Lavina Wilkins (Yakama), and Joann Smith (Warm Springs).

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EMU Tribal Flag Raising

By Nikki Silvestrini

In late September, a flag raising ceremony at the EMU amphitheater saw the flags of Oregon’s Nine Confederated Tribes go up. I sat down with Gordon Bettles, the Many Nations Longhouse Steward, to follow-up on the project. The flag raising was a student driven project that started two and half years ago when Famery Yang, Orion Falvey, Hannah Mixon-Gilliam, Michael Johnson, Tucker Lokendah and Tetsuya Mishagwho – students at the Lundquist College of Business – came together to increase tribal visibility on the UO campus. This student group collaborated with the Many Nations Longhouse, the Native American Student Union, and the Native American Law School Student Association to make the project a reality. Student leaders Falvey and Mixon-Gilliam stayed with the project from beginning to end. Despite some struggles with time constraints and bureaucratic regulations the students involved have left something lasting. Bettles says, “The Native American students that have gone and seen them or participated are very empowered to see a Native American presence on campus.”

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Documenting Tradition in Klamath and Lake Counties

Documenting Tradition in Klamath and Lake Counties
By LuAnne Kozma, contract folklorist, Southern Oregon Folklife Survey, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

I returned to southern Oregon for the Oregon Folklife Network’s Southern Oregon Folklife Survey and traveled the high desert, along Lake Klamath, and in the downtowns and storefronts of Klamath, Lakeview and other smaller places on the map, always meeting interesting and talented people.

Meats and outdoor cookery seem to go together here, with the Lakeview Locker providing sausages, smoked meats and fresh cuts. Meals cooked over an open fire by dutch oven cooks Patty and Keith Barnhart are the special attraction of  their Willow Springs Guest Ranch outside of Lakeview. Longtime horsepeople, the Barnharts began dutch oven cooking over 25 years ago, sharing their culinary talent with friends on trail rides, which eventually led to their home-based business.

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