Photo: Land Trust.

Nature Night Recap: Long Memory of the Land with Elizabeth Woody

Jan 31, 2020 by Deschutes Land Trust
The Executive Director of The Museum at Warm Springs presented our January Nature Night, Long Memory of the Land. Enjoy takeaways and meaningful clips from her presentation and find suggested resources to learn more about Central Oregon tribes.

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Thanks to those of you who came out to our January Nature Night, Long Memory of the Land! It was an educational and engaging presentation from Elizabeth Woody.

 Enjoy some interesting takeaways and additional resources from her talk below, or watch a recording of her presentation here.

If you have trouble viewing the slides from Elizabeth's presentation below, click here. 


Long Memory of the Land Takeaways and Resources:
During her presentation, Elizabeth shared a brief glimpse into the histories of Indigenous Peoples in Central Oregon. As a people with rights and memories of this land from time immemorial, she shared the deep understanding and connection with life along the Deschutes and Columbia Rivers her people have. Elizabeth noted that colonization continues to impact the world today, and that loss of language and a land-based culture built up through millennia is a concern. Engaging these ways of life, Elizabeth shared, is a key to living with the land.

Some Columbia River Peoples' Precepts:

  1. As long as Nature is taken care of, it will take care of you.
  2. Traditional wisdom is "systems thinking." Do no harm. Take only what you need. Let the rest grow.
  3. To understand a land's resources respect it enough to know your own life is at risk with its loss.
  4. Being "in" it and able to see patterns as interrelationships, and responsibly adapt.

Additional resources:

Poem by Elizabeth Woody:

The volcanoes in our stories moved and lived before our human presence.
They made way for the contour of skyline.
The river shifted this way, left its mark.
It made a way for us.
Coyote walked here and made this so in this time's beginning.
Songs are sung through our lives and are a part of how we follow.
There is a difference here. We dream.
We know our bodies are made of all these elements.
On this land we are all motion.
We age. Society changes. New people arrive. Old people leave. Memory stays.

- From "Recognition of the Maker"

About Elizabeth Woody:
Elizabeth Woody (Navajo/Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakama) is the Executive Director of The Museum At Warm Springs. She served a two-year term as Oregon Poet Laureate from 2016-2018. She is a published author and fine artist. Elizabeth received the American Book Award, William Stafford Memorial Award for Poetry from the Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Association and was a finalist in the poetry for the Oregon Book Awards for 1994, and is an alumna of the first Kellogg Foundation’s Fellowship through the AIO Ambassadors program.



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