An outdoor museum exhibition and series of talks recognizing native Kalapuya history and land stewardship in Oregon is coming to Oregon State University starting May 11.
“This IS Kalapuyan Land” first opened at the Five Oaks Museum in Portland in 2019. The exhibition was guided by Five Oaks’ first guest curator, Steph Littlebird Fogel (Grand Ronde, Kalapuya) in collaboration with several Indigenous historians, artists and cultural experts, including OSU College of Liberal Arts instructor David G. Lewis (Chinook, Santiam, Takelma, Grand Ronde).
The exhibition prompts critical thinking around representation of Indigenous history and identity in non-Indigenous institutions. Five Oaks Museum later added a series of signs declaring “This IS Kalapuyan Land” that can be placed as pop-up exhibits in outdoor locations.
An OSU advisory committee started working last year to bring the exhibition to Corvallis, and created three new signs to accompany seven signs from the original Five Oaks exhibit. The signs were designed by OSU student Chanti Maῆon and will be displayed throughout the Corvallis campus and in OSU research forests beginning in mid-May.
“The exhibit of signs will be there to remind people that this is and always will be Kalapuya Land,” said advisory committee member Luhui Whitebear (Coastal Band Chumash), assistant director of OSU’s Native American Longhouse Eena Haws and an anthropology and ethnic studies instructor. “As a land grant university, we at Oregon State have the responsibility to teach people that and to keep it centered in the work we do.”
Also on the advisory committee were Julia Bradshaw, associate professor of art and art history; Lewis, anthropology and ethnic studies instructor; Marion Rossi, associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts; Chet Udell, assistant professor of biological and ecological engineering; and Stephen Fitzgerald, professor and extension specialist and the director of OSU research forests.
In addition to the sign exhibit, OSU will hold a series of three talks in May:
Tuesday, May 11, 10 a.m.: The series opens with a talk on the original art exhibition at Five Oaks and its impact on reshaping the museum. View it live on the Eena Haws Facebook page or register at: https://beav.es/3SV. Guest speakers will be Littlebird Fogel, the Indigenous artist, writer and curator from Portland who guest curated the 2019 exhibition, along with Molly Alloy and Nathanael Andreini, co-executive directors of Five Oaks.
Tuesday, May 18, 5 p.m.: A session about tribal histories and connections will be led by guest speakers David Lewis and Esther Stutzman (Kalapuya and Coos), a founding member of the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association and founding director of the American Indian Youth Camp. View it live on the Eena Haws Facebook page or register to view at: https://beav.es/3Se.
Thursday, May 20, 5 p.m.: The final session of the series will focus on the original art exhibition hosted by Five Oaks and highlight some of the artists who were involved. Speakers will be Littlebird Fogel; Angelica Trimble-Yanu, an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota; and Whitney Al Lewis, a Chehalis Tribe member in Washington state. View it live on the Eena Haws Facebook page or register at: https://beav.es/3S2.
“This IS Kalapuyan Land” is made possible through partnerships between the Five Oaks Museum, OSU’s NAL Eena Haws; the School of Language, Culture, and Society; the School of Arts and Communication; and the College of Forestry. A video tour, event photos and additional information about the project are available at: https://dce.oregonstate.edu/nal/kalapuyanland.
Article was originally published by The Corvallis Advocate.