Salem people today live among the “remnant cultural landscape and lifeways” of thousands of years, and hundreds of generations of indigenous native people, says David Harrelson, the Cultural Resources Department Manager for The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and a Grand Ronde tribal member.

In a singular upcoming presentation about the Kalapuya people of Salem, Harrelson will discuss how, “for many, history in the Willamette Valley begins with [white] settlement,” while in fact, traces are everywhere of “15,000 years of Kalapuya history, generations and myth.”

When Harrelson views the camas and oak of Bush’s Pasture Park he sees a living representation of the past.

It has still not been long since the Kalapuya were removed to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation, where they endured immense hardship. Harrelson will describe both the ancient times of this important Oregon people and their continued legacy.

“The Kalapuya are still here,” Harrelson says. “They are an ongoing living people, so I will also talk about who they’re becoming.”


The Life and Times of the Kalapuya: Salem’s Native People
Salem City Club

March 9, 2018
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill
1313 Mill St. SE