(Phillip Cash Cash, Ph.D. (Weyíiletpuu/Cayuse, Niimíipuu/Nez Perce), plays his Plateau flute before the object became part of the Creations of Spirit exhibition at the High Desert Museum. Cash Cash and Professor Michael Holloman (Colville Confederated Tribes) will speak at the Museum on March 16 about the ongoing connection of objects in museums and contemporary communities | Photo courtesy of High Desert Museum)
Creations of Spirit Spring Events Bring Native Voices, Knowledge to the Museum
To offer visitors more opportunities to deepen their relationship with the newest High Desert Museum exhibit Creations of Spirit, the Museum has numerous programs on the calendar this spring. Many of the artists and knowledge holders will offer a deeper insight into Native communities and tradition.
Creations of Spirit immerses visitors in contemporary and traditional artwork made by seven renowned Indigenous artists. The cultural items are examples of how Native artwork is often tied to purpose and intrinsic to thriving communities, utilitarian and ceremonial, as well as part of the continuation of Native traditions.
Thursday, March 16 — Object + Spirit: The Life and Story of Plateau Objects in Museum Collections
Items created by Indigenous Plateau artists are imbued with the spirit of their maker and have ongoing connections to contemporary communities. What does this understanding mean for objects held at museums? Join Phillip Cash Cash, Ph.D., (Weyíiletpuu/Cayuse, Niimíipuu/Nez Perce) and Professor Michael Holloman (Colville Confederated Tribes) in a discussion about living Plateau objects and museums.
Phillip Cash Cash, Ph.D., is a nationally known artist, writer, endangered language advocate and linguistic anthropology scholar. As a fluent Nez Perce speaker, he works with communities and professional organizations on projects of cultural advocacy, identity and communication. Professor Michael Holloman is the coordinator of Native Arts Outreach and Education in the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University. Holloman has also directed the American Indian Studies program and Plateau Center for American Indian Studies at WSU.
The event is from 6-7:30pm with the Rimrock Café open for an hour before the program begins. Tickets are $10. Museum members receive a 20 percent discount, and the event is free for Tribal members. RSVP at highdesertmuseum.org/object-plus-spirit.
Thursday, April 6 — Indigenous Filmmakers Panel
Indigenous filmmakers are breaking barriers in true cinematic storytelling. Join LaRonn Katchia (Warm Springs, Wasco, Paiute) and other Native filmmakers as they share their current work and discuss the importance of Native representation in film. The discussion will celebrate how this work is continuing storytelling traditions and promoting positive representation of Native people. You will also learn ways that you can support this important work.
The event is from 6-7:30pm with the Rimrock Café open for an hour before the program begins. Tickets are $10. Museum members receive a 20 percent discount, and the event is free for Tribal members. RSVP at highdesertmuseum.org/indigenous-filmmakers-panel.
Tuesday, April 18 — Indian Education: Intergenerational Learning, Healing and Advocacy
Renowned educator and activist Patricia Whitefoot (Yakama Nation) and language educator and advocate Valerie Switzler (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) will discuss how Plateau tribes are passing on Indigenous knowledge and traditions to future generations. Videos and other visuals will aid in telling stories of intergenerational learning and youth engagement. Learn how you can support current advocacy efforts to enact inclusive education policies and address the full impact and legacy of boarding school policies.
Patricia Whitefoot was appointed by President Obama to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education in 2009. She is an influential advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women and has testified before the United States Congress numerous times regarding Indigenous rights. Valerie Switzler works in the Culture and Heritage Department of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. As an education leader, she led efforts around the passage of SB 13 Tribal History, Shared History, which requires Oregon elementary schools to include curriculum about the state’s Native peoples.
The event is from 6-7:30pm with the Rimrock Café open for an hour before the program begins. Tickets are $10. Museum members receive a 20 percent discount, and the event is free for Tribal members. RSVP at highdesertmuseum.org/indian-education.
Saturday, May 6 — Indigenous Arts Day
Join us in celebrating Native artforms of this region. Artists from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will share their artwork and demonstrate basket weaving, cornhusk weaving and other techniques. You will have a chance to learn about how artists today are continuing these important traditions and how you can support their work.
The event is from 10am-2:30pm and is free with Museum admission. Tribal members receive free Museum admission every day. Indigenous Arts Day is made possible in partnership with Tananáwit, A Community of Warm Springs Artists (warmspringsartists.org).
The artists whose work is featured in Creations of Spirit are Joe Feddersen (Colville), RYAN! Feddersen (Colville), Natalie Kirk (Warm Springs), H’Klumaiyat Roberta Joy Kirk (Wasco, Warm Springs, Diné), Phillip Cash Cash, Ph.D., (Cayuse, Nez Perce), Jefferson Greene (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) and Kelli Palmer (Wasco, Warm Springs).
Creations of Spirit will be open at the High Desert Museum through Sunday, October 1, 2023. Learn more at highdesertmuseum.org/creations-of-spirit.
Creations of Spirit is made possible by Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, The Bend Foundation, Central Oregon Daily, Ford Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Old Mill District, Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Heritage Commission with support from Bend Magazine, Cascade A&E, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation and MODERNFAB.
About The Museum:
The HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonder of North America’s High Desert. The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is a Smithsonian Affiliate, was the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence and was a 2021 recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.