(Into the Fray: Native American Wildland Firefighters of Warm Springs and Beyond | Photo by Edward Heath)
Into the Fray: Native American Wildland Firefighters of Warm Springs and Beyond opens Thursday, June 24 at The Museum at Warm Springs. The exhibition, which highlights the history and contemporary activities of these brave Native wildland firefighters, will be on view through Saturday, September 25.
Fire has been a tool with significant impact for Indigenous peoples from ancient times to the present day. Tribes used it in the hunt, for food preservation, smoking and processing and for clearing land. Native peoples across Indian Country align to the basic elements of the earth. Fire purifies. Weather, the stars, water and fire are essential elements of change in their lives.
From training, operations and the grueling hours of intense physical exertion, Native wildland firefighters form bonds, share the rewards and tell stories of their elite corps. The history exhibition will include an array of photographs along with firefighters’ boots, uniforms and hats.
“This exhibition examines and pays tribute to the lives of our Native brother and sister wildland firefighters of Warm Springs and other Native nations,” says Museum Director Elizabeth A. Woody (Warm Springs, Yakama and Navajo). “These brave individuals are part of our contemporary culture and contribute to our story — and the safeguarding and preservation of our land and peoples for future generations.”
Museum Health and Safety Protocols During the Covid-19 Pandemic
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Tribal Council requires all visitors and staff to wear masks while in the Museum. Other health and safety procedures are in place, which include allowing only a certain number of visitors in the Museum at a time and temperature checks at the entrance. All protocols are designed to keep the public and staff safe during the ongoing pandemic.
Save the Date
On Friday, August 27 and Saturday, August 28, the Museum will host its Annual Honor Dinner and Celebration in Portland. This year’s honorees are U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Mvskoke) and author and Warm Springs elder George W. Aguilar, Sr. (Wasco).
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