Grantee:  Confluence Project
Location:  Portland, Ore.
Award:  2012 Bridge Initiative for Native Arts
Discipline:  Gifts From Our Ancestors
Web Site:  http://www.confluenceproject.org

The Confluence Project is a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest tribes, renowned artist Maya Lin, civic groups from Washington and Oregon and other artists, architects and landscape designers. The project stretches more than 300 miles from where the Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean to Clarkston, Wash., with sites in both Oregon and Washington. Each of its seven sites features an art installation by Ms. Lin that interprets the area’s ecology and history, encouraging the visitor to reflect on how the surroundings have changed over time. Each references a passage from the Lewis and Clark journals.

Education regarding the First Nations people of the Columbia River is critical to this monumental project. Gifts From Our Ancestors is a two-year program engaging over 1500 tribal and non-tribal students from Celilo Village and the North Wasco, South Wasco, Sherman, Dufur, Lyle, Wishram, and Hood River School Districts. In multiple forms of artistic and oral expression practiced by Native peoples in the Celilo Falls region, the program revolves around shared knowledge and traditional practices of tribal artists and culture bearers who introduce Indigenous ways of knowing to develop critical thinking skills, promote the preservation of natural resources, and achieve arts-driven, interdisciplinary education goals.

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