Monday, March 25, 2019

Kennedy School History Pub

Crisis on the Columbia: Making a Difference at Mid-Century

Kennedy School

6 pm doors, 7 pm event

Free. First come, first served. Arrive early!

All ages welcome

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Qualifies for “Attend a McMenamins History-Sponsored Event” Experience Stamp.

Why not stay the night too? Mention you’re attending the History Pub for 15% off your hotel room.

About Crisis on the Columbia: Making a Difference at Mid-Century

Crisis on the Columbia: Making a Difference at Mid-Century

Presented by Dr. Katrine Barber, with Linda Meanus

The Native fishing community of Celilo Village was in crisis following WWII. Large dams, highway widening, and federal policies of termination and relocation conspired to remove Indian people from a place their families had occupied for more than 12,000 years. Stepping into this maelstrom were two women from very different backgrounds. Together, they forged an alliance that made a difference. Flora Thompson and her husband, Chief Tommy Thompson, fought to protect fish drying sheds, fishing stations, and Celilo Village homes for decades. Joining her was Martha Ferguson McKeown, a high school English teacher, community activist, and author of several local histories, including two children's stories about the Thompsons. Their remarkable friendship can be traced through dozens of letters recently unearthed in the University of Oregon archives. Their intertwined stories illustrate the importance of cross-cultural alliances at a transformative period in Northwest history.   

An illustrated presentation by author Katy Barber will be followed by a Q&A session featuring Linda Meanus (Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation), who is Flora Thompson’s granddaughter and the protagonist of Martha Ferguson McKeown’s Linda’s Indian Home.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Katy Barber ( is a professor of History at Portland State University where she teaches Western U.S., Pacific Northwest, and Public History courses. Her previous books include Death of Celilo Falls and Nature's Northwest: The North Pacific Slope in the 20th Century (with William Robbins). Her most recent work, In Defense of Wyam: Native White Alliances and the Struggle for Celilo Village, is available for sale in the OHS Museum Store ($24.95).

About Kennedy School History Pub

Kennedy School History Pub

These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.

This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp