Lecture, Book Talk     Series: History Pub

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

Free and open to the public
Monday, March 25, 2019
7PM – 8:30PM

  • Free
  • Family-friendly
  • Researchers
  • Teachers

McMenamins Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97211
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Event Type: Lecture, Book TalkAudience(s): Family-friendly, Researchers, TeachersLocation: Portland

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.

Ability Accommodation Information

This event provides the following accommodations:

  • Handicap Accessible

Dr. Katy Barber (katybarber.com) 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), along with her other works.

Dr. Katy Barber

About History Pub

Join us for beer and history, sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, Holy Names Heritage Center, and McMenamins, in which you'll hear lively local or regional history while you enjoy a frosty pint or two of handcrafted ale.

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