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"We Are Here" Event with Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Please join our R.E.D. community for an honoring of First Nations People with OSF and local participants.

Performances, spectacular bronze pour and speakers on the OSF Bricks Monday, October 29, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.. Please click "read more" below!

Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim-Baker and Russell Beebe will speak about the downtown Ashland sculpture depicting the Native American presence in this region, the history of the sculpture and how it has evolved into a prayer pole for the community as a living reminder that we, as indigenous people, are here! The casting for this sculpture will forever be cast in bronze on this evening--history fusing with art--for the public to witness.

In addition to hearing about the history of Native peoples in our community, Dr. Mark Tveskov, Anthropology Professor at SOU, will speak about the local "trail of tears."

NASU (Native American Student Union) of SOU will host a fry bread table and will provide information about the Native community of students at SOU.

R.E.D. (Red Earth Descendants) will also provide information about our grassroots community efforts to preserve indigenous culture and how the community can get involved and help.

Dan Wahpepah's Whistling Elk Singers and Brent Florendo's Dancing Spirit Drum will both perform songs and share Drum traditions. Traditional Grass Dance Exhibition performance by Tasker Crow will demonstrate the old form of Plains' style Grass Dance and its importance to keeping Ceremonial life alive.

Local musicians Phoenix Sigalove and the Four Directions will also grace the stage with good tunes.

The evening will be highlighted with the bronze pour (once the stage darkens at 5:55 p.m., sunset) of the prayer pole sculpture.

Ashland’s beloved “We Are Here Statue” created by Russell Beebe is being recast in bronze by artist Jack Langford and will be moved to Southern Oregon University. The We Are Here Statue pays homage to Native American history and their cultural relationships, in particular to animals and nature, while adding fine art to the community at large.

The bronze castings are being done in pieces throughout the community and the final bronze casting will be done at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in an evening celebration including dance, music, food, speakers and performers.

The sculpture has, for the past six years, evolved under the guidance of the sculptor, Russell Beebe, under the prayers and instructions from Grandma Aggie, and under the care-taking efforts of Red Earth Descendants and Whistling Elk Singers. From the eagle feathers we have sacrificed to this pole to the many prayers placed at the base of the pole, we are grateful to see a way for this amazing piece of our community become a permanent piece of historic art for our community. We are honored that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is hosting this event to help promote the importance of cultural survival for the Original Peoples of this land.

The We Are Here celebration will take place on October 29 6:00pm at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival Green Show stage