Last Wednesday the Native AmericanÂ LonghouseÂ held their annual Salmon Bake in the MU Brick Mall. Along with this annual celebration there was also a groundbreaking ceremony for the new site of the Native American Cultural Center at OSU. This groundbreaking signified the work of students like Christy Jones, a graduate student in the College of Education. She addressed the crowed in the morning along with President Ed Ray and representatives from tribes throughoutÂ Oregon. Christy spoke of her own involvement in the process for the new cultural center, which includes being a part of the planning committee for about four years now. â€œI didn’t think I would do this while I was still a student,â€ she stated.
“This event really was to honor the work of the students and Native American community,” said Victoria Nguyen, director of diversity and development. “It’s great to be able to move forward with all four of the cultural centers; The Native American Longhouse is just the first to near completion.”
The new center will be built next to the current location, southwest of the Memorial Union. Construction will begin next month with completion expected in early 2012. The center will take the shape of a traditional longhouse with a sloped roof and cedar plank siding, and will include areas for cultural events, space for student resources and a lounge area.
Several tribal members blessed the area for the new cultural center. After the groundbreaking, the 13th annual Salmon Bake took place. Students and community members lined up to enjoy salmon that was cooked traditionally on stakes over a fire. There was also a stage where native drums and poetry were performed. If you missed out on the ceremony on Wednesday, the events will continue tonight, May 13th,Â with the OSU PowWowÂ taking place at McAlexander Field House. From 5:30pm to 6:30pm dinner will be served, followed by the Grand Entry at 7:00pm. There is a limited number for the dinner, so make sure to get there early!