This month’s local meeting was held in a very special place on campus, the Many Nations Longhouse.
We had a presentation from Gordon Bettles, the Many Nations Longhouse Steward, about the history and significance of the Longhouse to local native peoples. Gordon is a member of the Klamath Tribe as well as being a long time member of campus and he received his Masters of Science in Anthropology, Linguistics, and International Studies from the UO.
In the late 1960s, Native American students formed the Native American Student Union (NASU) to help develop a place where Native Americans could feel at home and help each other. After successfully campaigning the UO Administration, the NASU was gifted a retired WWII Army barracks. This served as a longhouse for many years until the building became severely run down in the late 1990s. In 2005, the new longhouse was opened with elders coming from several tribes and the structure was blessed at the grand opening. The new longhouse has been host to many events through out the year and is seen as the embassy to the UO for Native American tribes from all over Oregon.
After telling us the history of the longhouse, Gordon told the group about the rules of visiting a longhouse and then he blessed lunch.
The meeting also had a presentation from our field office about bargaining and the statewide campaign for Fair Shot Oregon. This is a statewide effort standing up for all Oregon working families.
To view the presentation, click on the image below.