Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society suspends capital campaign

SILETZ — The Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society has suspended its capital campaign to support the construction of Ghii Dee-Ne Dvn, The People’s Place, a museum and cultural heritage center. 

Launched at the beginning of February, shortly before the global pandemic struck the country in force, the fundraising campaign has been negatively impacted by the urgent societal needs of the novel coronavirus. 

As the second tribe in the United States to be restored to federal recognition after 21 years as a terminated tribe, and as a confederation of more than 38 bands and tribes forcibly removed in the mid to late 1800s from homelands along the coastline spanning from Northern California to Southern Washington to the Willamette Valley speaking at least 10 separate languages, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians has faced a particularly poignant challenge in restoring its culture. The People’s Place has been conceived as a place not simply to preserve and display cultural treasures but as a place to lift up, celebrate and practice the cultures of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. 

“A Campaign for A Place for the People has had some notable successes, including a significant gift from the Oregon Cultural Trust to develop a traveling virtual reality exhibit that will eventually become a part of the permanent collection at Ghii Dee-Ne Dvn, as well as capital gifts from both the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Indians,” according to Gloria Ingle, STAHS chairman of the board. 

The decision to suspend the campaign has been made in light of the suffering by so many. “At this time, we need to focus on the needs of our people, and of our neighbors who have been affected by the pandemic,” said Angela Ramirez, board treasurer and tribal council member. 

The Siletz Tribal Arts & Heritage Society will continue to monitor the situation and looks forward to resurrecting A Campaign for A Place for the People in 2021. In the meantime, Ingle said, “We look forward to supporting the needs of those who have been impacted by COVID-19.”

To learn more about A Campaign for a Place for the People, email [email protected]