Into the Evergreen: Be They Native or Not

Into the Evergreen: http://intotheevergreen.com

From the White House to an abandoned schoolhouse in Noti, Oregon, Into the Evergreen tells the stories of people whose lives intersect with Oregon’s forests. For one term, I followed bow-maker and Hanis Coos tribe member, Sam Sprague, as part of our multimedia class taught by Torsten Kjellstrand.

Sam’s story is unique in that it is a reversal of traditional ways. Seeking to revive and perpetuate his culture, Sam used the Internet to teach himself how to make traditional bows and arrows, which he now teaches to community members, including tribal elders. I spent four weeks speaking with different tribal councils, students, and members of the Coos tribe to find Sam’s story, which taught me much about perseverance, trust-building, and the politics of native communities in the surrounding areas of Eugene. I also produced a short piece on a tribal elder I met, Tom Richardson. His video can be found on the site’s timeline and is titled “The Opposite Side of the River.”

For this comprehensive multimedia project, each student focused on a different aspect of Oregon’s forests – logging, recreation, native cultures, outdoor lifestyles – to create content for our final website. The site launched on April 8, 2014.

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