Native American
Storytelling

Tribe Elder Esther StutzmanThe Kalapuya are a Native American tribe whose traditional home occupied the Willamette Valley, from just south of present-day Portland to just shy of Roseburg in the south.  Consisting of 13 subdivisions, the Kalapuya spoke 3 different dialects of the Oregon Penutian language family.  Before coming into contact with Caucasian explorers and missionaries, the population of the Kalapuya tribe was believed to be around 15,000 people.  By 1849, after horrible epidemics of smallpox and other diseases introduced by Euro-Americans, their numbers had dropped to only about 600 members.

Before being removed to live on reservations, the Kalapuya lived along the Willamette and its tributaries, where fish and wild game were hunted with obsidian arrowheads and spear tips obtained from the volcanic activity in the Cascade ranges.  The rich valley also provided fruits, nuts, berries, and root vegetables, including Camas, gathered by female members of the tribe.

Esther Stutzman is a Kalapuya Tribe Elder who has been sharing the stories of her people for many years, with people of all ages.  Join Esther at the Heritage Stage where she will honor us by sharing some of these stories with us, so that we may know more about the rich culture of the people who lived on the land we now call Cottage Grove.  More information about the Kalapuya Tribe can be found here.

Sponsors

This performance has only been made possible because of community groups coming together to support and sponsor it.  We would like to thank them and let them tell you a bit about themselves.

Rural Organizing Project

Rural Organizing Project is a statewide network of over 60 groups across rural and small town Oregon who are organizing to advance democracy and human dignity.  Our mission is to strengthen the skills, resources, and vision of primary leadership in local autonomous human dignity groups with a goal of keeping such groups a vibrant source for a just democracy.

First Presbyterian Church's Earth & Social Justice Committee

The First Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest churches in Cottage Grove (1855).  It began east of the present Currin Railroad Bridge, in a schoolhouse under an oak tree on the “banks of the picturesque Row River.”

Building low-cost and senior housing has been a focus of FPC, with members serving on the boards of Rainbow Village in Springfield, Jefferson Park Apartments, and Witherspoon Court in Cottage Grove.  Many social relief agencies in Cottage Grove owe their genesis to efforts of First Presbyterian Church during the 1980s and 1990s.  FPC members continue to serve on their boards (Community Sharing, South Lane Mental Health, Family Relief Nursery).

Earth and Social Justice is an active committee of First Presbyterian Church and carries out its mission in the world partnering with other local organizations to serve those in need, advocating for the environment, and promoting social justice.  ESJ members are part of CottageVillage Coalition working to create a tiny house village for low and very low income people.

Cottage Grove Community United

Cottage Grove Community United is dedicated to encouraging and celebrating diversity, the elements that make us unique, as well as what binds us together.  We believe compassion and respect are the rights of every Cottage Grove resident.

Schedule

Day/TimeLocationNotes
Sat: 1:15 p.m.
Heritage Stage

Kalapuya Tribe Elder Esther Stutzmashare stories from before Cottage Grove existed.

Sat: 4:00 p.m.
Heritage Stage

Kalapuya Tribe Elder Esther Stutzmashare stories from before Cottage Grove existed.

Sponsored By:

  • Rural Organising Project Logo
  • Cottage Grove Community United Logo
  • First Presbyterian Church logo

The Festival

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