(Dr. Dr. Virginia Beavert, Yakama Nation, recipient of The Museum At Warm Springs Lifetime Achievement Award at the Huckleberry Harvest Celebration and Honor Dinner at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon on Saturday, August 17, 2019 | Photo by Creative Images of Life)
More than 200 guests attended The Museum At Warm Springs’ Huckleberry Harvest Celebration and Honor Dinner at the High Desert Museum in Bend on August 17. The annual event raises funds for The Museum At Warm Springs. This year, $105,000 was raised through dinner ticket sales, sponsorships, additional grants and gifts and a silent auction.
The Warm Springs people have harvested huckleberries in the Mt. Hood area since time immemorial. In the 1855 Middle Oregon Treaty that established the Warm Springs Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs ceded ten million acres of land to the United States on which Mt. Hood stands. In the treaty, the Tribes reserved the right to pick berries and to retain additional rights, including fishing, hunting, grazing stocks and gathering plants and medicines.
“Proceeds from the event makes it possible for the Museum to continue to share the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs’ culture, history and art; to educate in the traditional arts of the people; and to preserve the Museum’s objects and archival collections,” said Museum Executive Director Elizabeth Woody (Warm Springs).
“Each year, our guests are given an opportunity to be immersed in the beauty and culture of our Tribes,” said Woody. “Traditional foods, music and art make this a unique event, one that we look forward to celebrating year after year.”
This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Phillip Cash Cash (Nez Perce/Cayuse). A renowned linguist and scholar, Cash Cash spoke to the importance of Indigenous language preservation in a presentation titled, “The Radical New Plateau Speaker.”
This year’s event included two honorees. Howard Arnett, Esquire of Karnopp Petersen LLP, Bend was honored with the Museum’s prestigious Twanat Award for his nearly four decades as an attorney for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and for his representation of other tribes on matters involving treaty rights, tribal sovereignty, Indian law development, government-to-government relations and gaming. Arnett is also a longtime supporter of The Museum at Warm Springs.
Dr. Virginia Beavert of the Yakama Nation was honored with the Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Beavert is a Linguist/Scholar and professor at the University of Oregon. She is a highly respected teacher and fluent speaker of her language, Yakama Sahaptin. Beavert has worked throughout her life to teach and preserve her Native language. She has been the Washington State Educator of the Year and in 2004 was honored by the Indigenous Language Institute for her lifetime of work on language revitalization. Beavert was awarded her Ph.D. in Linguistics in 2012.
On Sunday, August 18, at the High Desert Museum, The Museum at Warm Springs and the Confluence Project recorded Cash Cash and Beavert in conversation in Ichiskin and English. Native filmmakers Woody Hunt (Modoc/Cherokee) and LaRonn Katchia (Warm Springs) taped the three-hour storytelling and cultural presentation.
The event’s major sponsors included: The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Ken Smith, Karnopp Petersen LLP, University of Oregon, The Confederated Tribes of Siletz, Central Oregon Landwatch, Brooks Resources, Empire Construction, ASI Wealth Management, Oxford Suites and Inns, Pahlisch Homes, Portland General Electric (PGE), Warm Springs Power and Water Enterprise, The Gordon Family, Sunriver Resort, City of Bend, Miller Lumber, and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
Warm Springs Chief Delvis Heath, Warm Springs Tribal Council Chairman Raymond Tsumpti, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Tribal Council Chairman Delores Pigsley and other Siletz Tribal Council members were among the dignitaries who attended. Citizens of the Coquille Indian Tribe, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Modoc, Nez Perce Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation and Yakama Nation also joined the evening’s celebration.
Distinguished non-tribal guests at the event included: Oregon Supreme Court Justice Martha Walters, Bend Mayor Sally Russell, Bend City Council Member Bruce Abernethy, Bend City Manager Eric King, Dennis Pahlisch of Pahlisch Homes, Bend and Kirk Schueler, CEO, Brooks Resources Corp.