First off, thank you for reading my blog posts, coming to Brown Bag programs, stopping by to talk about books, Indians, treaties, wild foods, dams, fish, art, and the state of the world.
It’s been a fine year at the Josephy Center: wonderful exhibits featuring “Women on the Edge,“ “Art and Words of the Lostine,” “The Wallowas in Historical Photos,” and “Nez Perce Music.” The Josephy Center took on and managed the annual Wallowa Valley Arts Festival to great applause. The clay studio hums, and we teach special art classes for the Joseph school along with regular Friday student classes. For those of you in blog land, do visit the web site—josephy.org—and take in some of our shows and events when you come to town. Or click on https://josephy.org/video-audio/ to see or listen to some of the Brown Bag programs, exhibit openings, and goings on here at the Center.
My role at the Center is to run the Josephy Library and take the lead in Indian programming. It’s been a good year: a couple of small grants and two hard-working volunteers have caught us up with cataloging—check https://sagelib.org to see our holdings, and to begin making the non-book holdings accessible to the world. Our “Nez Perce Ephemera” and “Manuscript” holdings will soon be visible online.
|She “Returned from a hard journey”– ‘etweyé·wise|
But the biggest triumph—and the most rewarding event I have been involved with for many years, was the installation of ‘etweyé·wise, the story of Nez Perce return told in bronze and granite by Nez Perce artist Doug Hyde. At the installation of the first sculpture by a tribal artist on Joseph’s Main Street, we had drummers from Lapwai and Umatilla, singers and speakers from Nespelem. There were tears as Joseph Band descendants talked about this “homeland” and a long-ago Chief Joseph Rodeo queen unwrapped a mortar and pestle, found and held by her white family, and returned it to the Nez Perce. Then we—tribal people, local people, and curious visitors from everywhere—sat down and ate salmon together.
Things have changed in the Wallowa Country—on the installation of the sculpture, the Wallowa County Chieftain editorialized “Welcome Home.” There’s a Nez Perce art show coming in January (Opening January 5, 2:00—4:00 pm, with Kevin Peters, John Seven Wilson, Carla Timentwa and more) and another series of talks by elders in the spring. The Josephy Center is one of many organizational and individual partnerships expressing new relationships with descendants of the Nez Perce who long called this place home.
In this season of gift giving, when the family and good cause demands on you are many, think about a gift to the Josephy Center and its Library so that we can continue this good work.
(You can send a check to PO Box 949/ Joseph, Oregon 97846, or donate through the web site at https://josephy.org/donate/ )
I thank you for your support, and wish you all the best in the coming year.