This is Kalapuyan Land
This is Kalapuyan Land originally opened in 2019 as a physical museum exhibition and an online exhibition in 2020. Guest curator, Steph Littlebird Fogel ( Grand Ronde, Kalapuya) annotated panels from the museum’s prior exhibit on Kalapuyan peoples, curated contemporary Native artwork and historical objects into the exhibitions, and added historical content from David G. Lews, (Chinook, Santiam, Takelma, Grand Ronde). In 2020 Five Oaks Museum founded a project to create exhibits as sings that could be placed in outdoor locations based on images from the This IS Kalapuyan Land exhibit. Along with the Little Gallery exhibition, at least thirteen of these unique signs will be displayed throughout the campus and in nearby OSU forestlands.
Dates for the show: April 18-May 20, 2022 at The Little Gallery, 210 Kidder Hall, Oregon State University
In my unique role as Five Oaks Museum’s first Guest Curator, I was tasked with reframing a preexisting exhibition on the Kalapuyan people of Oregon.
As a lifelong Oregon resident and descendant of the Kalapuyan people, I grew up in a state that exalted pioneer and Oregon Trail mythology. The preexisting exhibition, created over 15 years ago, was riddled with errors, erasures, stereotypes, and scientific misinformation. Because I am not a historian, it was imperative for me to work with someone who is an expert in our tribal history. I was incredibly lucky to collaborate with tribal scholar and Grand Ronde Confederation member, Dr. David Lewis. With his generous assistance and online collection of academic articles, I eliminated inaccuracies, and reframed biased narratives. By introducing artwork made by living Native creators I could demonstrate the vibrancy and abundance of Indigenous culture that thrives today.
This IS Kalapuyan Land acts as both a museum exhibition title and land acknowledgment. It is also a declaration of perpetual stewardship by the Kalapuyan people. “We have always been here, we will always be here.”
-Excerpt from Decentering Whiteness in the Museum, by Steph Littlebird Fogel
is a visual artist, professional writer and curator from Washington County, Oregon. She is a 2019 Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) project grant awardee, a two-time Art + Sci Initiative recipient, and has worked in collaboration with the Oregon Bee Project, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Postal Service. Fogel served as a juror for the Idea Initiative grant program and received the Nancy Tonkin Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Artists.
Stephanie Littlebird Fogel (Grand Ronde, Kalapuya)
acted as expert consultant to this exhibition. Lewis is a Native American researcher and educator with over 20 years of experience in Anthropology and Native Studies. He teaches at local universities and colleges and takes research and consultant contracts with tribes, local governments and nonprofits. In the past, Lewis worked for the Grand Ronde Tribe for over 8 years as the Cultural Department Manager and volunteered for another 3 years on the Culture Committee, becoming Vice Chair of the Committee.